NHS staff tried their hand as brickies recently amid the building work on two new mental health facilities due to open in south west London next year.
The future ‘Springfield Village’ now under construction is set to open at Springfield Hospital in Tooting in a year’s time (Autumn 2022) and will feature two hugely welcome new mental health facilities.
The NHS’s south west CCG said that the ‘Trinity’ and ‘Shaftesbury’ buildings at Springfield, to be part of the St George’s NHS Trust, will house a range of mental health services that will support people “across the region” amid increasing demand for mental health support.
The names for the buildings were decided earlier this year as part of a community naming competition, and members of the Trust pharmacy and forensic team submitted the winning entries.
Trust pharmacist Abz Salama, who took part in the event and chose the name Trinity, said: “It was a pleasure to lay some of the final bricks for our new mental health facilities with our construction partners. I’m really looking forward to moving into our new home and we’re excited about what this means not just for our teams, but for the care we deliver to our patients and service users.”
The facilities will help support what the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has documented as rising numbers of people in the UK living with mental health problems.
For example, one ONS report published in May said that an estimated one in five adults said they experienced some form of depression during the coronavirus pandemic, a rate that has doubled since the pre-pandemic rates.
The state statistics bureau also found in a second May 2021 report that “due to restrictions and changes in health service use” UK residents were “not necessarily seeking medical help”, with the number of depression diagnoses alone falling from 1,131,804 in 2019 to 863,578 (a 24 per cent decrease).
Consequently NHS staff working in the area will hope the new facilities can help tackle issues such as those highlighted by the ONS earlier this year.
Those who helped in their construction were given a short brick-laying training session by contractors Sir Robert McApline.
St George’s NHS Trust said they would provide the “most modern mental health care in the country… giving people the best chance to recover in the best environment, and supporting Trust staff to deliver outstanding care.”
Ian Garlington, Director for the Trust’s Integrated Programme, added: “We are delighted to see our new facilities taking shape and to have the opportunity for our teams to add the some of the finishing touches. With just a year to go until Trinity and Shaftesbury open, we want to celebrate the hard work of our partners, staff, service users and patients who have helped to shape every aspect of their development. We are proud to be leading the way in breaking stigma by developing facilities that will sit at the heart of our Springfield Village, alongside a fantastic new 32-acre park, supporting the health and wellbeing of our whole community.”