Creating a health based place of safety in Sheffield

I&G have completed a duo of mental health facility refurbishment projects with Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust (SHSC), to help them refurbish and upgrade the new Health Based Place of Safety at the Longley Centre.

A Health Based Place of Safety is an area where the Trust can work together with service users to understand how they can best support them at moments of crisis. It’s a place where people are treated with respect and kindness to support their mental health, and it’s essential for their recovery that the space is safe and comfortable for those using it.

The first section of the project involved delivering a refurbishment project to create new office and support space, consisting of a new reception, office refurbishment and infrastructure for the Longley Centre staff and patients. The main access point for users of the site, the area has now been transformed into a therapeutic and calming space, to improve patient care and the way in which mental health services are provided by SHSC.

Designed with a focus on comfort and safety, the refurbishment consists of a new open reception area with a seated waiting area and new office environment. With colourful wall art and ceiling sky panels, new open-plan offices, break-out spaces, meeting rooms, interview rooms and welfare areas, as well as installation of heating and ventilation systems, the design was informed by users to create an adaptable space which can be adjusted to suit future needs of the facility.

The second part of the project was a new ward for the Longley Centre, to enhance patient care and wellbeing. The ward has spacious suites, dedicated triage and observation areas, a kitchen for the staff team and an en-suite bathroom in each room, as well as one fully accessible suite. Throughout, there is improved lighting and decor, including a homely carpet to dampen noise, and sensory lighting options which include changeable colours and circadian rhythm lighting, alongside customisable heating for each individual suite. A private internal courtyard provides a safe and nurturing environment for patients and staff alike, and artwork from local landscape artist Jill Ray aims to ‘bring the outside in’. All areas are built to be safe, long-lasting and fit for purpose.

Throughout the project, we worked alongside the Trust’s staff, capital team and therapeutic environments team to ensure the project’s design and delivery created the best environment for patients and staff, utilising the extensive experience of both SHSC’s work with patients and I&G’s specialism in working in technical and complicated clinical environments.

Laura Wiltshire, head of service for acute and community services at SHSC, said: “I am so proud of all the work we’ve put into the design of this new environment to ensure we provide the best possible experience we can for our service users.

“It’s spacious, bright and calming, with outdoor space too. We are committed to quality at SHSC and this is a great example of how, by working together, we can make real improvements for the lives of people in our communities.”

Adele Sabin, head of the therapeutic environments project team at SHSC, said: “I want to say a big thank you to everybody in the capital and therapeutic environments team who have led this project with focus, energy and passion to build a space which will be a real improvement for people who use our services.

“A thank you too to all the people who have come together with us through coproduction. The new Health Based Place of Safety is the realisation of all your efforts and it is something to be very proud of.”

I&G has a strong partnership with the Trust, having worked on several similar schemes over recent years. Specialising in complex construction projects in the health, education and food manufacturing industries, I&G has a team of experts that are used to working in live environments and delivering high quality facilities to meet the needs of their users.

Recent projects for SHSC include:

Watch a flythrough of the new Longley Centre facility: