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Historic moment for Manchester as time capsule is buried at brand-new mental health unit construction site

Historic moment for Manchester as time capsule is buried at brand-new mental health unit construction site

A time capsule has been buried at the construction site of Manchester’s brand-new adult mental health inpatient unit, North View.

North View is the £105.9 million state-of-the-art unit, run by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH), that will replace the current Park House adult mental health inpatient unit on the North Manchester General Hospital site.

The time capsule was created to preserve the history of Park House, and memories of the North Manchester area, before North View opens later this year.

It contains contributions and memorabilia from Park House patients, staff, local schools and contractors, including:

  • Winning submissions to the Time Capsule Worksheet Competition, made by pupils from schools in the North Manchester area, Abraham Moss Primary School, Northridge School and The King David High School
  • Contributions and artwork from service users at Park House,
  • Staff photos from wards at Park House,
  • A document detailing the NMGH site history,
  • Information about Park House and the existing buildings,
  • Information about mental health services and care,
  • North View design and construction images,
  • A visual timeline of key milestones for North View, and a North View progress video,
  • A photo of the IHP (building construction) team,
  • Coins,
  • A newspaper,
  • Stamps.

 The time capsule was officially buried at a special ceremony on 07th May 2024 and was attended by:

  • Pupils from schools in the North Manchester area,
  • Park House patients and staff,
  • The Chair of GMMH, Tony Warne,
  • Chief Finance Director at GMMH, Suzanne Robinson,
  • The Leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Bev Craig,
  • Executive Member for Healthy Manchester and Adult Social Care, and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board at Manchester City Council, Councillor Thomas Frederick Robinson,
  • NHS England’s Director and Head of Profession for Estates and Facilities, Simon Corben.

 After the ceremony, attendees were given a site tour of the North View building site, to see progress of the construction and ask any questions about the exciting new unit.

Momina, 10, from Abraham Moss Community School said:

“I made a poster for the time capsule. I drew a book because I love reading books; it is my passion and my hobby. I also drew a doctor because I want to be a doctor when I grow up.

“Burying the time capsule today has been very fun and interesting because we are going to be a part of history. Finding this time capsule in 100 years’ time will hopefully make people very happy.

“I really enjoyed the tour around North View – it looks more like a mansion than a hospital!”

Tony Warne, Chair at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said:

“This really is a historic moment for North Manchester, as we preserve information and relics about and from our wonderful, diverse community. With everything from poems to artwork, photographs, videos and day-to-day items, our time capsule portrays a snapshot in time which captures the spirit of our people, mental health services, history and aspirations, for future generations to one day look back on. Who knows how different their lives may be.”

Simon Corben, Director and Head of Profession for NHS Estates and Facilities at NHS England, said:

“It was a real privilege to be part of this event. It’s important to celebrate these new developments, which will make such a difference for people needing inpatient mental health services across the country, and the creation of a time capsule is a really great way to do that.

“It was impressive to see the progress on the North View site and the pace by which this project has been delivered to replace outdated and unsuitable dormitory accommodation with a new unit containing single en suite rooms in Manchester.

“There’s been great collaboration between GMMH, the contractor, architects and service users, which has been absolutely critical and demonstrates the true partnership approach of the Procure programme – one I’m very proud to be part of.”

Gary Bowker, Regional Managing Director at VINCI Building said:

“It’s been wonderful to see all the brilliant contributions to the time capsule event, meet members of the community and tell them all about the exciting work we are doing at North View.

“Social value is a huge part of what we do. As part of this, we have set up a community skills centre to support local 16-24 year olds through training and accredited qualifications. The aim of the centre is to support those furthest from the labour market into employment and help close the future construction skills gap for North Manchester. So far we have provided 7,200 training hours and 965 hours of work experience. Everyone who takes part also has the opportunity to move into paid employment, and we have already seen a number of learners progress to this.”

Work on North View, a 150-bedroom specialist mental health inpatient unit, started in August 2022 with the new unit anticipated to be built and operational by 2024.

The unit will help improve the region’s mental health services and make sure patients can access the care they need in an environment designed to enhance and aid therapeutic recovery.

This forms part of the government’s commitment to deliver over 70 major hospital upgrades, helping improve patient care and ultimately save more lives.

Once completed, the upgrade will see improvements to patient experience, with spacious single bedrooms, each with a private en-suite shower room, as well as a variety of indoor activity areas, meeting rooms for family visiting, multiple gardens, spaces for therapeutic artwork and a café.

It will house a purpose-built Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), an older adults ward, seven adult acute wards, and a treatment suite.

North View will be the first all-electric mental health unit in the country, which supports the NHS goal of becoming net zero; and will use energy efficient heat pump technology to provide heating, cooling and the generation of hot water. The building will also incorporate thermally efficient materials throughout, and solar panels to self-generate electricity.

This new development is part of an exciting vision for North Manchester General Hospital to improve health and wellbeing for local people over the next 10 to 15 years. GMMH is working with its Principal Supply Chain Partner, Integrated Health Projects (the joint venture between VINCI Building and Sir Robert McAlpine) to deliver the project.

Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024