The new unit will fill a service gap in the area, helping to rehabilitate individuals.

Willmott Dixon has secured a £7m contract to deliver a new autism secure unit at Brooklands Hospital in Marston Green, Birmingham.

Commissioned by Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, the single-storey facility will provide eight ensuite bedrooms, one of which will be a seclusion suite.

Professor Ashok Roy OBE, consultant psychiatrist and associate medical director at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, said:

“The new autism secure service fills the gap in service for a group of patients who have for a long time had poor access to services and have therefore languished in unsuitable surroundings such as prisons and distant hospitals.
“It will now be possible to deliver a specialised, local service for the West Midlands providing appropriate skilled treatment that prepares autistic people to take steps towards well supported community living to achieve rewarding and fulfilling lives.”

Procured through Procurement Hub’s Major Projects framework, Willmott Dixon is working with architect Design Buro, with Dan Doyle, operations director at Willmott Dixon, saying:

“Being a business with rich Birmingham heritage, it’s an honour to be playing a significant role in a local project that will enrich the community’s healthcare offering.
“This will enable Brooklands Hospital to provide a high-level service to its future patients in an environment that accommodates their specific needs, which is something we’re pleased to have been appointed to deliver.”

The new building comes with the bonus of optional social communal spaces that offer comfortable accommodation. It is particularly important for patients to have access to a safe communal space alongside self-contained areas to help with rehabilitation and avoiding prolonged periods of detrimental isolation.

The project also includes external considerations including an anti-climb roof and four-meter perimeter fencing, while the internal design elements incorporate high-quality ventilation and anti-ligature lighting. Work is underway on a live site, so the project team has emphasised the importance of communication and collaboration to ensure the smooth running of construction.

Sustainability is at the heart of the project, with the aim to achieve BREEAM Excellent certification a driving force. The building will also be heated by air source heat pumps, which is in line with Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust’s commitment to no longer install gas-fuelled systems.

Andrew Peck, client relationship manager at Procurement Hub, said: “This is another fantastic project working with one of our NHS members. Working with Willmott Dixon, our solution has provided a compliant and flexible route to market for the customer.”

Work is set to be completed by March 2023.

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