Sunniside Unit

MENTAL health provision in the North East is set for a boost following the award of contracts to deliver an extension to the Sunniside Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead. 

Procured through national framework provider Pagabo’s Professional Services Framework, national project and programme management consultancy Faithful+Gould and leading construction firm Morris & Spottiswood – who were appointed through Pagabo’s Medium Works Framework – will deliver an extension to the mental health facility, which is run by Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.

The project – which has been valued at almost £1.8m – will see Faithful+Gould provide multidisciplinary services including initial design, and Morris & Spottiswood lead on the extension’s construction. 

Karen Carter

Karen Carter, regional relationship manager for the North at Pagabo, said: “We’re delighted to have been involved in the administration of this vitally important development of the Sunniside Unit’s mental health facility – a service that will help to support members of the surrounding community for years to come.

“We are incredibly pleased that Faithful+Gould and Morris & Spottiswood have both been appointed for this project via our frameworks and that they will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with us to further cement Pagabo as a viable route to market for healthcare organisations and NHS Trusts.” 

The Sunniside Unit provides inpatient admission, assessment, treatment and discharge planning to any patient within the Gateshead area who either has a diagnosis of a functional mental health illness (over the age of 65), are presenting symptoms of acute psychiatric distress and require assessment for diagnosis or are presenting acute psychiatric distress and are in crisis where there are risk indicators of danger to themselves or others.

Lawrence Inkster, director of Faithful+Gould, said: “I am thrilled that we have been appointed to provide multidisciplinary services for this much-needed development in Gateshead. Time was very much the essence on the project and our position as Pagabo’s multidisciplinary framework provider has allowed us to assemble the team to hit the ground running. Our expertise within the healthcare sector and experienced team will help to bring to life the building’s extension and provide a space in which people feel happy, safe and supported.”

Matthew Wall, frameworks manager at Morris & Spottiswood, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with NHS Gateshead to deliver this new and much-needed mental health facility within the local area. The turf cutting ceremony really is a milestone moment for not only the client but the full delivery team, all of whom have shown amazing commitment to getting the project up and running in record time.

“This is our first direct award via the Pagabo framework, and it has demonstrated what a valuable and time saving mechanism this procurement route can be when the full team commit to working collaboratively.”

Paul Swansbury, development and commercial works manager at QE Facilities Ltd, added: “This investment into local health services, such as what is provided by The Sunniside Unit, is a testament to our commitment to support surrounding communities as much as possible with both their physical and mental health. In what has been a turbulent year for so many, it’s never been more vital to support one another and so we hope that this brand-new extension will provide hope to so many for the foreseeable future and beyond.”

Kelly Chequer, nurse consultant in older persons’ mental health at the Gateshead NHS Foundation Trust, said: This investment in older people’s mental health is extremely positive for the residents of Gateshead who need admission to hospital. We are pleased that our clinical staff and patients have been able to influence the design of this modern facility which will eradicate all dormitory accommodation and provide mental health modern facilities with single ensuite bedrooms.”

Joann Crowder, ward manager at the Sunniside Unit, said: The patients and families have been closely involved in designing the new environment and I know the experience and safety of someone in hospital will be greatly improved with the high standards of the new environment.  The design team have listened to every request from the patients and the nursing team and we are all looking forward to seeing the new ward.”

Work is now underway on site, with the extension due to complete by Spring 2021.

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