The Roker and Mowbray Dementia Care Unit provides two single-sex Assessment and Treatement wards. The name makes reference to the local landmarks of Roker Beach and Mowbray Park.

Each ward contains 10 en-suite bedrooms, with an additional 4 rooms accommodated centrally between these wards, known as a ‘swing-zone’.   These four bedrooms can be used by both wards and offer flexibility between patient groups and allowing for flux in admissions to either ward.  A range of additional shared accommodation for patients, staff and visitors, provides a ‘front-of-house’ component.

Dementia Care services in Sunderland and South Tyneside were identified as being  in need of expansion and development following a series of service reviews provided by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW).

These reviews established a requirement for the re-provision and relocation of dementia care assessment and treatment services to a new purpose built Dementia Care Centre at Monkwearmouth Hospital in Sunderland that would form part of a dedicated dementia care campus.

Medical Architecture were commissioned to design the new building,  sitting alongside refurbished inpatient accommodation and day hospital clinics for adults and older people, replacing existing accommodation which restricted patient mobility and privacy.

The design of the facility aimed to encapsulate the latest findings in dementia-related research.  Consultation was undertaken with the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) at Stirling University which facilitates world-leading consultancy and research into dementia care.   Roker and Mowbray won the Gold Standard through their formal accreditation process, it is understood that this is the first NHS building in the country to be formally audited by DSDC.

The critical importance of the internal layout was addressed through the design process, where ward plans were kept as wide and spacious as possible.  This allows staff to effectively observe and engage patients during the night and day, as well as maximising space for the patient group.

The design provides adaptable, open-plan living spaces linked with more intimate, cosy areas for activities and privacy. Each ward is planned around a landscaped courtyard giving patients direct and free access to safe and secure gardens.

[Roker and Mowbray]…”is truly magnificent. You – our team – can and should be justly proud. Visitors have been surprised and delighted and I hope that patients, carers and our staff working there will be also.  I will offer my thanks more formally later, but for the time being I would be happy if you could accept a simple, heart felt, THANK YOU.”
-Tony Railton, Project Director,
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

Sunderland, UK

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear
NHS Foundation Trust

Lead Consultant
Landscape Architect
BIM Coordinator

Value: £9,000,000

Status: Completed November 2013

University of Stirling Dementia Services Development Centre’s (DSDC):
Gold Standard Design Audit Certification.


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