May 1, 2020

Approval confirmed for St. Ann’s Eating Disorders Unit

A new Eating Disorders Unit providing specialist eating disorders care to the population of Dorset and the South West of England has gained planning consent. The current capacity of six beds is insufficient to meet demand and, as a result, patients are transported to other specialist units out of the area for treatment. This creates significant problems for patients in maintaining contact with family and friends. The current proposal will increase the number of beds available from six to ten.

The building had previously obtained planning consent for an 8-bed Perinatal Unit. However, after the construction of a new perinatal unit in Exeter, the Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust changed their priorities. As Medical Architecture designs its healthcare settings for flexible adaptation, repurposing the design for a different group of service users was a relatively seamless process.

The design uses traditional materials found on the hospital site, such as brick and clay roof tiles, but details them in a contemporary manner, providing a modern and attractive setting for the treatment and care of vulnerable patients. The building sits in a wooded glade close to the main St. Ann’s Hospital in Poole. The design is crafted to have a low impact on the mature coastal trees, providing a private and dignified place for inpatients.

On the ground floor, it will provide accommodation for 8 inpatient beds, including 1 accessible, and 2 high dependency beds. Day spaces have views out to the external area, maximising the therapeutic benefits of the surrounding woodland. Community teams and therapy rooms occupy the first floor to assist with continuing integrated care.

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