Young people move into state-of-the-art facility, FitzRoy House

Thursday 5 Jan 2017

FitzRoy House cafe courtyard

Today saw the first of the young people at St Andrew’s Healthcare move into newly-built FitzRoy House, part of the St Andrew’s site in Northampton.

FitzRoy House is Europe’s newest and largest adolescent mental health facility. Providing specialised, personalised care, FitzRoy House will support up to 110 young people with some of the most complex mental health needs in the UK.

The 11-ward facility has been carefully designed with the input of psychiatrists, nursing teams, occupational therapists and the patients themselves, to create the best possible environment for recovery. Decisions on ward names, the interior colour scheme and the many artwork installations have been led by patients to help create a feeling of warmth and welcome.

Paul Bentham, Service Director for St Andrew’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Pathway, said: “We’ve been looking forward to this week for such a long time – and our staff have worked tirelessly to make it happen. There are so many ways in which FitzRoy will enhance the way we care for our young people, from improved wards, living spaces and new sports and fitness facilities, to purpose-built therapy suites and a new home for our College.

“FitzRoy also brings staff and patients together. We were previously spread across two buildings, but now we can build an even stronger community to help transform the lives of our patients.”

The Branch Out Cafe at FitzRoy House
The new Branch Out cafe for patients and staff in FitzRoy House

 

St Andrew’s CAMHS Pathway cares for patients with mental illnesses, autistic spectrum disorders and learning disabilities. The charity has invested significantly to bring patients the latest therapeutic developments to support personalised care packages.

Features of FitzRoy House include:

  • A custom-designed sensory therapy room that incorporates inbuilt sound-damping, adjustable lighting and secure fastenings for swing equipment. St Andrew’s was the first residential mental health provider to adopt sensory therapy and it has proved highly beneficial to patients.
     
  • Art and music suites, outdoor animal care courtyards and fitness rooms, together with therapy kitchens and a light workshop. An indoor sports hall and outside multi-use games area provides space for team games.
  • A new setting for St Andrew’s College, rated by Ofsted as outstanding. A unique science laboratory enables students to complete practical exams by instructing a teacher to perform experiments on their behalf – that way keeping them safe from hazardous chemicals.
     
  • A TEACCH* classroom within the College, specially designed to provide a supportive environment for students with autistic spectrum disorders. The room has low lighting, sound damping and distinct student workspaces.

Paul Bentham added: “Added to all these facilities is a central courtyard with a water feature, a café for patients, visitors and staff, and huge amounts of outside space, including a courtyard for every ward. We have also created numerous comfortable visitor suites so that our patients can spend more time with friends and family.  FitzRoy House is setting a new benchmark for residential mental healthcare.”

Artwork in the reception area of FitzRoy House
Artwork in the reception area

 

Gil Baldwin, CEO of St Andrew’s Healthcare said: “FitzRoy House is a major milestone in our journey to become a world-class mental healthcare provider. We believe it will become a centre of excellence in transforming the lives of young people with complex mental health conditions.

“We already have an enviable track record in helping our young patients progress back into the community, by giving them coping and life skills as well as support to gain academic qualifications and work experience. FitzRoy House will help us take this even further.”

To help ease patients into their new surroundings, a memento has been designed for each young person. The colourful booklet features miniature doors that open up to highlight and celebrate the different areas of the facility, from the music room and gymnasium to the café and animal courtyard.