Forensic Psychiatric Inpatient Unit – Bamburgh Clinic

St Nicholas Hospital, Gosforth,
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Laing O’Rourke with Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust

Lead Consultant
Healthcare Planner
Interior Designer
Landscape Architect


Completed May 2006

RIBA Award: North East England Regional Winner 2008
Building Better Healthcare Awards 2006: Best Mental Health Design
Green Apple Award for Sustainability 2006

Project description:
The Bamburgh Clinic is a 41 bed inpatient Medium Secure (MS) and Personality Disorder (PD) unit at St Nicholas Hospital, this facility is Phase 2 of a strategic review of the original hospital site to replace existing Victorian buildings.  Providing a therapeutic and safe environment for patients, vulnerable to self harm and prone to aggressive behaviour.

The Bamburgh Clinic is designed to enhance the service users’ sense of wellbeing, the building is conducive to healing by using the architecture as the secure enclosure, creating large glazed openings to let in lots of daylight and direct access to gardens. The Clinic was designed to be built within a tight time frame and the offsite manufacture of components minimised disruption at the site.  Sustainably sourced materials are used where possible and a timber frame, rainwater harvesting and movement sensor lighting contribute to excellent energy efficiency.

This clinic was the first of five high profile national pilot schemes initiated by the Department of Health and is featured on the SHINE website as an example of a good sustainable, therapeutic and non-stigmatising mental health unit. It is regularly visited by healthcare professionals from around the world and is seen as a pioneering step change in mental health service provision and design.

“Overall impression of light space and calm. Constantly in touch with the outside space. An environment that service users should find very beneficial.” – Visitor at the Open Day, May 2006

“They had a real desire to understand our service requirements and provide us with value for money options, such as the sports barn and rainwater harvesting system, from which to choose. We are very happy with the final scheme.” – Malcolm Aiston, Project Director for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust

Ref: 373