Ground has been broken to create new £150m mental health unit which is part of a £500m housing development.
The 180-year-old Springfield Hospital, once a pauper lunatic asylum in 1840, will be rebuilt with luxury flats in the oldest red brick block.
South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust has officially begun the construction of the new mental health facilities which will replace it.
Its ‘breaking ground’ ceremony earlier this month marked the start of the redevelopment of the trust’s largest site, Springfield University Hospital, in Tooting, for the 1.1million residents it serves.
Two new buildings will house eight inpatient wards in which service users will be cared for in facilities specially designed for recovery from mental health conditions. They are due to be completed in 2022.
Developers have also begun work on creating more than 800 flats on the site.
The transformation of the Springfield University Hospital site will include the development of 32 acres of parkland for the whole community to use – the first of its kind since the 2012 London Olympics.
The modernisation will also make land available for a new school, dedicate more than £5million for new transport facilities and provide shops and cafes.
The trust hopes the stigma of mental health treatment will be reduced by the mix on the site of hospital, new homes, parkland, shops and cafes.
South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust chairwoman Ann Beasley said: “I am overjoyed to be the first to start digging the foundations of our transformational mental health facilities, which will revolutionise the care we provide to our service users and patients – and provide an excellent environment for our staff.
“Our new buildings, the new and redeveloped housing, the shared public park and the new cafes and shops will be there for everyone to benefit from – as one community.”
Vanessa Ford , the trust’s chief executive, added: “Our staff, patients and community have made vital contributions to the design of our new, cutting-edge mental health facilities where we can provide the most supportive care for our patients.
“These first-class wards will transform the way we are able to care for our patients and service users, and I am extremely proud of how hard the trust has worked over the last decade to get to this milestone, and that we are funding these developments ourselves.
“One person in four has a mental health condition during their life, so we truly welcome the opportunity to reduce the stigma of mental health conditions by bringing our services and our community together as one.”
The trust announced in January it had received government approval for its plans to begin work on the development, which enabled it to begin construction.
Early work took place last year to create Springfield Avenue, a new road on to nearby Burntwood Lane.
The trust will be working with Springfield and Tolworth Estate Partnership (STEP), a 50/50 partnership with Sir Robert McAlpine Capital Ventures Ltd and Kajima Partnerships.
Pictured top: The first shovels of earth being dug by, from left, South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust chairwoman Ann Beasley, Mayor of Wandsworth Cllr Jane Cooper, the trust’s chief executive Vanessa Ford and Paul Heather, managing director of Sir Robert McAlpine London.
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