Nov 15, 2021

Construction starts on therapeutic eating disorders unit

Construction starts on therapeutic eating disorders unit.

Construction has started on our £8m inpatient eating disorders unit at St Ann’s Hospital in Sandbanks for Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust. Sited in a protected wooded glade, the building has been carefully crafted to preserve the quality of its natural setting and to create a uniquely private and therapeutic environment for inpatients.

The new building will increase the Trust’s capacity for specialist eating disorders care to meet demand in the local area, ensuring patients can receive their treatment closer to home.

Responding thoughtfully to a sensitive site

The size and positioning of the building has been carefully crafted to have a low impact on the mature coastal trees that occupy the site and to respect the character of the surrounding area. The larger two-storey volume of the building is set back from the site boundary and adjoining road, reducing in scale to single storey as it approaches the street frontage.

Creating a therapeutic environment for recovery

The bedroom accommodation and the patient day spaces are located together on the ground floor. The transparent day spaces have views out to an accessible landscaped garden and the surrounding woodland, maximising the therapeutic benefit. This ward plan, with a central staff base, aids observation and allows efficient staffing levels to be maintained. Staff and therapy rooms occupy the first floor with a large activity space which provides spectacular views out across the tree canopy.

Organic materials and neutral colours complement the ever-present views to nature. Large areas of glazing provide natural light to reinforce circadian rhythms and reduce the requirement for internal lighting.

Bob Wills, Director at Medical Architecture, said: “Working closely with the Trust we have designed a place where patients can recover in an environment conducive to recovery-focused and high-quality care. By integrating the building so closely with its natural setting we are able to fully harness the therapeutic quality of this fantastic site.”


Images: Pillar Visuals

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