23rd February 2021
The Birch & Chester Medical Centre provides specialist inpatient care for adults who present complex needs and behaviours in a safe and supportive environment.
It includes a 24 bed inpatient Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), built to strict specifications to ensure the safety and security of the patients.
The facility aims to create a safe and controlled environment to look after acute psychiatric patients, whilst also respecting privacy and dignity.
The new facility was phase three of a four scheme development for Priory Healthcare and comprises a single storey, L-shaped building with a male wing, the Birch Ward and a female wing, the Chester Ward, adjoined by a central communal area.
The building also includes consulting rooms, staff rooms, games room and kitchen with external areas encompassing soft landscaping with bonded rubber surfaces. Both wings also incorporated specific seclusion suites and enhanced care suites for elevated care needs.
The substructure of the building comprised strip foundations with a superstructure consisting of a central steel core, block work supporting walls and structural steel columns to the wings. A steel roof carrying insulated roof panels was supported from the block work and the the finish comprised external brick and render. The facility was complete with associated infrastructure including a 44 bay car park.
To ensure a smooth handover on completion of the build, we set up workshops with building users in the two weeks leading up to occupation. At each workshop we provided instruction on the use of all vital systems within the building including, heating, lighting, fire alarms and BMS system.
Following handover, we also ensured key trades such as our M&E subcontractor, plumber and finishes foreman remained on site to address any issues and swiftly rectify them. This approach resulted in the successful handover of a high quality, fit for-purpose building delivered on time and to budget, which staff were able to use from day one.
The Birch & Chester Medical Centre demonstrates Tolent’s ability to design and build a specialist inpatient care unit to strict specifications, working in close collaboration with the client and design team, while also incorporating innovative materials and build solutions to add value to the scheme.