A ceremony to mark a key milestone in the construction of Hartley Hospital in Southport has taken place with guests from Mersey Care, Farran Heron Joint Venture and partners.

A ‘Topping Out’ ceremony celebrates a significant stage in construction where the structure is complete and the roof is in place. The £20m new mental health hospital is now watertight and fit out is currently underway. Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust Chairman Beatrice Fraenkel put the finishing touches to one of the doors which lead to the hospital’s courtyard.

Neil Kelly, Construction Manager at FHJV, commented:

“The project team on site of Hartley Hospital continue to make tremendous progress. We are pleased to report that construction is on schedule and the building is now water tight. The bedrooms are currently being fitted out and decorated. Soft floor coverings and hard external landscaping are also underway. As part of our contract, we remain committed to delivering a range of community benefits including education, local skills development, apprenticeships and employment opportunities for local businesses and social enterprises. We have enjoyed developing strong relationships with Mersey Care, Liverpool & Sefton Health Partnership and the local community, who are truly at the heart of this project. This topping out ceremony represents a major milestone which brings us one step closer to delivering fantastic mental health inpatient facility to the community of Southport.”

Beatrice Fraenkel, Chairman of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“There’s nothing better for any of us in the Trust than seeing a building that is on its way to being completed. It’s a privilege to be at this topping out, seeing how all aspects of its interior and exterior design have involved service users and staff. Just walking through what is still a construction site you can see the relationship between the space and the light is just what we wanted. It’s taken a lot of work to get it right, including architecture that’s not institutional looking and that fits in well with the local community, which is just how we want it to be.”

Elaine Darbyshire, Executive Director of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“The building is looking fantastic- lots of light, space and access to the outdoors. Great to see all of the principles set by our Mersey Care Design Group being adopted throughout. Great design supports recovery and this hospital will be a real testament to this.”

Hartley Hospital will provide two 20-bed wards, one for adults the other for older inpatients, needing short-term mental health care and treatment, as well as an assessment suite. A range of community services and outpatient clinics will also be co-located there for the first time. The new building will contain a café, family visiting room, multi-faith area, internal garden courtyards. All patient bedrooms will be single with ensuite bathrooms and there will be a therapy and activity areas and a gym. Phase one is due for completion in October 2019. Phase two involves the demolition of the old buildings of the existing Boothroyd Unit and creation of a new larger car park with landscaping, prior to the site becoming fully operational by March 2020.

The Hartley Hospital name was chosen after consultation – the name recognises the historic origins of its location on the former Southport General Infirmary site next to what used to be the Christiana Hartley Maternity Hospital. The late Christiana Hartley CBE, went on to become Southport’s first woman Mayor and was an advocate for better health services, education, women’s equality and champion for children and the poor.