Combe Valley - a new mental health hospital for Bexhill

A major programme to transform mental health inpatient services in East Sussex

Combe Valley Hospital

We are building a new 54-bed hospital for adults and older people with mental health conditions on a site off Mount View Street, North East Bexhill.

It will be called Combe Valley Hospital.

The hospital will replace the outdated inpatient services currently provided in the Department of Psychiatry at Eastbourne District General Hospital and is expected to be completed by Spring/Summer 2025.

It will:

  • remove outdated dormitory accommodation, replacing the shared wards with individual bedrooms, each with en suite bathrooms
  • provide a modern and improved therapeutic environment for patients, and
  • create enough capacity to meet future inpatient needs. 

This represents the first step in a wider programme aimed at building new modern facilities on a single site which will, in the future, meet all mental health inpatient needs for the people of East Sussex and beyond.

This 'campus'-style approach would enable us to develop a leading centre for mental health services which will mean we can respond as effectively as possible to the changing needs of local people and achieve outstanding outcomes for patients. 

This centre of excellence will also mean we can attract and keep the best staff and offer excellent teaching and research opportunities for our doctors, nurses and other clinicians.

The new hospital is being in partnership with Kier Construction. For up-to-date information on the build, click here: https://www.kier.co.uk/projects/mount-view-redevelopment-of-the-department-of-psychiatry-rises/

We have produced a booklet - Our Hospital, Your Community - which will give you an insight into how Combe Valley Hospital will treat and support people who will be going through a difficult time in their lives.

If you would like to join our mailing list, please send your email address to: esxccg.eastsussex.mh@nhs.net

You can watch a video here of how the new hospital will look.

To find out more, click on the links below.

 

 
Construction starts  Construction complete  Operational Go Live
July 2023 January 2025 March 2025

 

These dates may be subject to change.

Update 13: Latest news and mental health awareness event

We have started to erect the steel frames to form the first ward. You will notice the jib of the crane from the site boundary - and our closest neighbours can begin to see the outline of the new building. Contractor parking inside the site has been expanded which means more people can park within the site boundaries. 

SPFT and ourselves will be holding Movement of Mental Health on Tuesday 14 May between 12 noon and 6pm at The Pelham to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (and provide progress updates for the new hospital). A leaflet with details will be distributed with this update. Please come along and meet everyone for a chat.

More details can be found under the events section of our website: April 2024 Site Update 13


Update 12: beating the wet weather

Despite the seemingly incessant wet weather, we continue to make good progress on site.  We've completed pouring the foundations for the first ward. The steel frame we need to create the ward has now been manufactured - and we plan to start erecting it towards the end of the month. So you will begin to see the new hospital taking shape in the Spring.

For further details, click here:   March 2024 Site Update


Update 11: New building officially named Combe Valley Hospital.

To mark the start of full construction, we held a ground breaking ceremony on site on Tuesday (30 January). SPFT's Chief Executive, Dr Jane Padmore, took this opportunity to announce that Combe Valley would be the name of the new hospital.

The name was voted on by SPFT staff, service users and Governors. Representatives from SPFT, Kier Construction, NHS Sussex, Rother District Council attended the event alongside service users and staff from our existing inpatient services in Eastbourne

See full update: February 2024 Site Update 11 

Further details in our news release: Ground breaking ceremony at Combe Valley Hospital


NEW HOSPITAL FACTSHEET

We have produced a new factsheet which will tell you everything you need to know - and more - about the new Combe Valley Hospital.

Click here for details: NEW HOSPITAL FACTSHEET


Update 10: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Kier and SPFT

Since our last update, we have completed a deep excavation to the south west of site which means we have been able to lay the slabs that mark out the footprint for the southern-most hospital ward, the first of three

For further details, click here: Site Update 10: December 2023


Update 9: laying the foundations

We continue to lay the foundations for the main building and work on the drainage system. The recent very wet weather has unfortunately created a lot of mud on site which has slowed us down considerably this month - but we're confident we will catch up once the weather improves.

For further details, click here: Site Update 9: November 2023


Update 8: Plan of works for the coming month

During the last month, we have started work on laying the foundations for the new building. We have also installed the welfare buildings for everyone
working on site. This includes meeting rooms, small eating area and toilet and washing facilities. 

You will have seen that we have also put up hoardings on Mount View Street. These will not only carry statutory notices - but will also include a community information board as well as artistic displays to make the hoardings more attractive.

For further details, click: Site Update 8: October 2023


Invite to public meeting: Thursday 5 October, 4pm-7pm

Date: Thursday 5 October Time: 4.00pm-7.00pm

Venue: The Pelham, Hollier's Hill, Bexhill-on-Sea TN40 2DD

Kier Construction and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust invite you to a public meeting to discuss progress on the new mental health hospital in Mount View Street, Bexhill.

For further details, click here: Invite to public meeting


Update 7: Progress on enabling works continues

Work on the planned 54-bed mental health hospital in Mount View Street is making good progress.

Since our last update, we have stripped about four  thousand cubic meters of topsoil from the site (the equivalent of almost two Olympic-size swimming  pools). About half of this will be reused in the final landscaping once the building is complete.


We have installed temporary drainage alongside the water course and an attenuation tank basin at the lowest point on site. This means that muddy storm water is contained and only released once the suspended silt has settled sufficiently.

Read more here: Site Update 7 - September 2023

Update 6: enabling works started

This has, so far, included:

  • installing temporary drains to protect the watercourse running through the land and
  • stripping the topsoil which is necessary to reach soil that will stand compaction and weight bearing.

What we are doing during the next two months:

  • In August, we will undertake re-landscaping to make the site suitable for the new building, and carry out temporary works for drainage and welfare (site staff facilities).
  • In September, we will be installing temporary bridges to make it easier to get across the site, as well as starting work on the foundations.

Read more here: Site Update 6 - August 2023


Update 5: enabling works to begin

We are close to agreeing the contract with an approved supplier to carry out the groundwork and substructure works of the new building.

Once the contract is agreed and we get final approval from RDC and SPFT, our chosen supplier can start on site. At this point, there will be apprentice positions available.

If all goes to plan, we will start enabling work on Monday 3 July

Read more here: Site Update 5: June 2023

Update 4: Site investigations

During April and May, we will carry out some more site investigations, these include further archaeological works, groundwater monitoring and subsoil properties testing.

We are now compiling all the evidence we need to satisfy the conditions set out by Rother District Council as part of the planning permission. You can see details of these on the planning portal at: www.rother.gov.uk

This means that we will aim to start work on Monday 19 June, pending Local Authority and NHS governance approvals.

For further details, please click here: Site Update 4


Update 3: Come and meet us! 

Thursday 9 March - 3.30pm to 8.00pm.

The Pelham, Holliers Hill, Bexhill-on-Sea TN40 2DD.

As you know, we're building a new mental health hospital in Mount View Street, Bexhill.

Preliminary work has started so we felt this is a good time for you to meet the people from Kier Construction who are responsible for the build.

They will be on hand to answer your questions or concerns about the work.

It also gives you another chance to meet the team from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, who will be running the new facilities, to discuss the hospital in more detail.

So, please come along!

For further details, please click here: MEET THE CONTRACTOR EVENT


PLANNING APPROVAL CONFIRMED BY ROTHER DISTRICT COUNCIL

Hybrid planning application seeking full planning permission for erection of an inpatient mental health facility, landscaping, car parking and associated works (Phase 1), and outline planning permission for an additional inpatient mental health facility and support facilities with all matters reserved (Phase 2) in Mount View Street, Bexhill

Rother District Council have given formal notice, in pursuance of the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Acts, that permission has been granted for the carrying out of the development referred to above in accordance with the application and plans submitted subject to conditions.

Full details can be found here: 

Rother District Council planning approval details


Update 2: Archaeological and enabling works - January/February 2023

This is the second update on progress of the scheme.

We are currently working on the detailed design of the new building and preparing for enabling works such as foundations, drainage and other services later in the year.

This month, we will undertake investigations to see if there are any significant historical archaeological features on the site so we can reduce the risk of any potential delays in construction.

This will be done by a specialist contractor, under the supervision of the county Archaeologist.

Archaeological Works

These works will run from Monday 23 January to Friday 10 February. They may take longer if we find anything of significance.

W/C Monday 23 January:

  • Erect temporary metal mesh fencing around the site perimeter.
  • Clear hedgerow and coppice next to the entrance on Mount View Street.
  • Undertake perimeter survey.

 

W/C Monday 30 January

  • Excavate a network of 2 metre wide trenches down to around 600mm deep.
  • Review the content of excavated layers as work progresses.

 

W/C Monday 6 February

  • Fill in excavated ditches
  • Work will finish if nothing of significance is uncovered.

 

CLICK HERE FOR SITE UPDATE 2 ON ARCHAEOLOGICAL WORKS


Update 1: Ecological works - October 2022

Towards the end of October, and beginning of November, our ecology experts will be working to make sure wildlife on the Mount View Street site, including badgers and reptiles, are protected during construction.

They will:

  • close what is called a 'subsidiary' badger sett near the site entrance - this means that badgers are encouraged to move back to their alternative setts outside of the site boundary, well away from construction activity
  • installing a fence to stop slow worms, common lizards and grass snakes from entering the site during the build (this will be removed when work finishes).

This work will involve clearing vegetation and a small amount of excavation - all carried out by licensed ecologists and specialist contractors.

CLICK HERE FOR SITE UPDATE 1 ON ECOLOGICAL WORKS:


21 July 2022

PLANNING PERMISSION GRANTED FOR NEW MENTAL HEALTH HOSPITAL IN BEXHILL

On Thursday 21 July 2022, planning permission was granted by Rother District Council to build a new 54-bed mental health hospital on a site in Mount View Street, Bexhill-on-Sea, to replace out-dated services at the Department of Psychiatry in Eastbourne.

Funding for the new hospital is being made available under the national eradicating dormitories programme.

At the same time, the Council granted outline planning permission for a second phase on the same site which could potentially provide a further 72 beds, depending on further funding becoming available in the future.

Construction on site is set to begin later in the year and will be completed by the end of 2024, beginning of 2025.

Programme Director, Paula Kirkland, said: "This decision is a major milestone towards implementing the first phase of our wider vision to create new modern facilities to address all inpatient mental health needs on a single site for people across East Sussex and beyond.

"We are delighted that Rother District Council's planning committee have agreed that there is a need for a new mental health hospital and that the land in Mount View Street is a suitable site for the new facilities.

"As the project progresses, we will continue to involve the local community as much as we can to ensure that not only will the new facilities provide high quality care for people but also become a real asset to the Bexhill area."

Dr Andrew Hodson, local Medical Director for East Sussex and Mental Health Lead for NHS Sussex, added: “We welcome the planning committee’s approval and the ‘green light’ it gives us to move on to the next stage of our project.

The new hospital will not only remove out-dated dormitory accommodation, replacing the current shared wards with individual rooms, each with ensuite bathrooms, it will also provide a modern and improved therapeutic environment for patients and create enough capacity to meet future inpatient needs. It is great news for the people of East Sussex and our local health and care system.”

The NHS East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT) held a formal public consultation into the proposals between June and September 2021. Most people who responded to the consultation strongly supported the proposals, with the site in Mount View Street being the preferred location.

A further pre-planning application consultation with residents living near to the site was held in March 2022.  Most local people either strongly agreed or tended to agree with the plans to build a new mental health hospital on the site. 

Also, most people either strongly agreed or tended to agree with plans to potentially extend the site in the future to create a campus to provide all hospital-based mental health services in East Sussex.

Details of the planning application can be found on the Rother District Council website: https://planweb01.rother.gov.uk/OcellaWeb/showDocuments?reference=RR/2022/1246/P&module=pl

More details of the plans can also be found on the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust website at: https://www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/about-us/how-our-trust-run/new-mental-health-hospital-bexhill

Anyone wanting to share their thoughts with SPFT can do so through its dedicated email address: esxccg.eastsussex.mh@nhs.net


Planning update May 2022

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has submitted a formal planning application to Rother District Council to build new hospital facilities with a potential capacity of 126 inpatient beds. These facilities will be built in two phases.

We submitted a detailed planning application for Phase 1 which is to build a 54-bed hospital to replace out-dated services currently based at the Department of Psychiatry in Eastbourne.

At the same time, we submitted outline planning application for Phase 2 which could potentially provide a further 72 beds, depending on funding becoming available.

Details of the planning application can be found on Rother District Council's website: https://planweb01.rother.gov.uk/OcellaWeb/showDocuments?reference=RR/2022/1246/P&module=pl

The proposals

To remind people, we want to build a new 54-bed hospital for adults and older people with mental health conditions on a site off Mount View Street, North East Bexhill.

It will:

  • remove outdated dormitory accommodation, replacing the shared wards sited in the Department of Psychiatry with individual bedrooms, each with ensuite bathrooms

  • provide a modern and improved therapeutic environment for patients, and

  • create enough capacity to meet future inpatient needs.

This represents the first step in a wider programme aimed at building new modern facilities on a single site which will, in the future, meet all mental health inpatient needs for the people of East Sussex and beyond.

Pre-planning application consultation - a summary

As part of the pre-planning application engagement for these plans, we hosted two public meetings for local residents on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 March 2022.

More than 150 people attended the meetings over the two days. They included people living in and around the site, county, district and town councillors, the local MP, Huw Merriman, as well as a representative from the Bexhill Chamber of Commerce.

Of those who attended, 25 people left completed feedback forms, or posted them after the events. We also received individual letters and emails from residents outside of these meetings which we responded to.

Residents' feedback

Most people either strongly agreed or tended to agree with the plans to build a new mental health hospital on the site (68%).  Most people also either strongly agreed or tended to agree with plans to potentially extend the site in the future to create a campus which could provide all hospital-based mental health services in East Sussex (52%).

While there were few objections to the actual principle of a new mental health hospital on the site, residents did express the following concerns:

  1. Location of secondary access roads.
  2. Use of the amenity area outlined at the rear of properties in St James Avenue.
  3. Traffic levels and how to mitigate any increases.
  4. Location of bus stops.
  5. Drainage and flooding in Bodiam Avenue.
  6. Impact on wildlife and surrounding woodland.
  7. Lighting, CCTV and fencing around the proposed site.

We have addressed these concerns in the formal planning application.

How we have responded to these concerns
  1. Location of secondary access roads
    The suggested secondary site entrances for emergency services access in the event of an emergency, ie St James Avenue and Bodiam Avenue, have been removed from the application so that the most suitable solution can be found at a later date, in consultation with residents and the Highways Authority.
  2. Use of the amenity area outlined at the rear of properties in St James Avenue.
    This area of land, which will be owned by SPFT if planning permission is approved, has been excluded within the final proposed layout.  It was originally shown as an area which can be used for general patient amenity, an example might be to use it for therapy space, such as allotments or a garden area.  This is now not being proposed to be included as part of the scheme proposals. However, we will be liaising with residents backing on to the land about its future use.
  3. Traffic levels and how to mitigate any increases.
    As the facilities will not operate in the same way as a traditional hospital, and the resulting staff, visitor and patient trip profiles, mean that the effect of the proposals on the local transport networks is expected to be negligible in comparison to the original outline planning approval for light industrial use.

    We assessed the impact of the proposals on the local road network, including the Wrestwood Road/Mount View Street signal-controlled junction. We concluded that they will not give rise to road traffic safety issues and will have a negligible impact on the local road network.
  4. Location of bus stops.
    We anticipate that, because of this development and the new housing being built opposite, public transport routes would be introduced, or altered, to provide better access to this area.  Sustainable modes of travel to and from the site, such as public transport, will be encouraged.

    We are in discussion with the Highways Authority, which will be consulted on the proposals. If there is a need for the proposals to make a contribution to the provision of a new bus stop, then this is something which the application can provide for. 

    In the meantime, we have carried out a full transport analysis for the site and have established a transport and travel review group to look at the travel and transport implications of the plans. Further details can be found on the public consultation sussexhealthandcare.uk/mh-eastsussex/
  5. Drainage and flooding in Bodiam Avenue.
    We have developed a Drainage Strategy for the site which has been specifically designed in accordance with local planning guidance to ensure that the proposed development will discharge surface water in line with drainage hierarchy, ie into the ground (infiltration), to a surface water body, eg river,  to a surface water sewer, highway drain, or another drainage system or to a combined sewer.
  6. Impact on wildlife and surrounding woodland.
    Any wildlife, such as badgers or reptiles, will be sensitively relocated, if necessary.  Construction activities will take into account of the need to retain the integrity of site boundaries and not damage any wildlife habitats. 

    Our proposals will ensure the planting of wildlife-friendly flora. Also we will protect the existing trees on site and supplement them with new trees and other planting to form a pleasant zone between the proposed building and neighbouring houses. 
  7. Lighting, CCTV and fencing around the proposed site.

Lighting will be installed but it will be designed to be discreet and not a light nuisance for neighbouring properties.  Details of the lighting proposals are included in the submitted Design and Access Statement which accompanies the planning application.

CCTV cameras will be installed internally and externally to ensure a safe and secure environment for patients and staff. These cameras will focus on the hospital site only, and not the wider environment.

The tallest possible height of the ward garden boundary fences would be approximately 5 metres (17 feet).  This is necessary to maintain patient safety. These are not intended to be high-security style fencing but something which is more appropriate to the nearby residential area.

 

Ground breaking ceremony at Combe Valley Hospital

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New hospital entrance
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Aerial view of new hospital site
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External view of ward 
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Aerial view of new hospital site
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Bedroom
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Communal space
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Reception area
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Family room
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Cafe

 

MOVEMENT FOR MENTAL HEALTH - A DROP-IN EVENT ON TUESDAY 14 MAY 2024

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place between Monday 13 and Friday 19 MayThis year's theme stresses the importance of keeping active to improve your mental health.

That's why we are holding a 'Movement for Mental Health' day on: 

Date: Tuesday 14 May

Time: 12noon to 6pm

Venue: The Pelham, Holliers Hill, Bexhill, TN40 2DD.

The day will give you the opportunity to:

  • Chat about the benefits of physical activity to your mental health.
  • Check on the progress of the new Combe Valley mental health hospital being built at nearby Mount View Street.
  • Share experiences with mental health professionals and those who've used our mental health services.
  • Discuss career opportunities in both mental healthcare and construction.
  • Talk to The Lighthouse Club  a construction industry charity providing support to building workers and their families.
  • Meet the team behind Running Space, a project run to build mental and physical strength and offer suicide prevention training.

We look forward to seeing you on the day!

This event is a partnership between Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Kier and The Pelham.


Ground breaking ceremony: Tuesday 30 January 2024:

Click here for further details: Breaking ground at Combe Valley Hospital

 


 

Here the answers to some of the questions we have been asked during consultation on our plans:

Frequently Asked Questions

Site and building

1. Why was this site chosen?

As part of the public consultation, we asked respondents their views on what would be the best site for the new services: Mount View Street or Amberstone Hospital in Hailsham. We made it clear that Mount View Street was our preferred option.
This is because of a number of reasons:

  • It is a key central location between two main centres of Eastbourne and Hastings.
  • Size of the site provides good opportunities for long-term expansion and greater long-term flexibility.
  • Outline planning permission is already in place for the site to be developed for employment, housing and retail.
  • Site enables patients to benefit from local parks and amenities in an established community.
  • There is more space available for therapeutic outdoor spaces.
  • All wards can be on the ground floor for unsupervised outdoor access.
  • Because of this development, and the adjacent housing development, public transport routes might alter and provide better access than Amberstone.
  • Travel to this site would be cheaper for those patients and staff who travel from the most deprived areas, helping improve health inequalities.
  • There is a train station within reasonable walking distance and the site has potential for better car parking for staff and visitors than Amberstone.

2. Who owns the site?

The land is now owned by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

3. What will happen to the section of land you have allocated as an amenity area?

This section of land is part of the site acquisition and its future use is undecided. However, an example might be to use it for therapy space, such as allotments or garden area.

Any future use will be subject to further consultation and discussions with local residents.

4. Neither the two emergency access roads originally identified on the plans are suitable for emergency access as they are too narrow and contain residential parking.

After careful consideration, it has been decided to locate the necessary emergency access track further down Mount View Street, away from any residential homes. 

5. Who owns the Plot/3 land and when will this come forward?  What will be delivered here?

This land is currently owned by Rother District Council and has existing planning consent to provide local facilities such as shops, other amenities and additional housing.

6. When will Phase 2 be delivered?

This will depend on funding become available but we would hope that we can start implementation within the next five years or so.

7. How close to the Mount View Street will the hospital buildings be?

The plan at the moment is for one building which will be sited towards the rear of the site. However, as stated earlier, we are also applying for outline planning permission to expand our services at some point in the future which may mean a further building being built nearer to the front edge of the site, bordering the road.

8. How far will the new hospital be from my back garden?

The closest point from the proposed building to a neighbouring garden is approximately 15m (50 feet) to the terrace of houses of Bodiam Avenue. The closest distance from the proposed building to a house is approximately 18m (60 feet).

9. How tall will the buildings be in Phases 1 and 2?

Phase one will be part single-storey, part two storey. The single storey areas are the wards, which have mono-pitch roofs (c. 7.2m (23 feet) to ridge). The front of the building is two storey which houses the office area (c. 10m high (33 feet)).

Phase 2 is generally two stories high, with a mono-pitched roof on top. The roof will make it appear slightly taller than phase 1 – the eaves will be approximately at 9m high (30 feet), and the ridge c. 11-12m (40 feet). The visual impact of phase 2 is minimised by it being nestled into the hillside. Both phases use the sloping site topography to locate the ground floor level to roughly 3m lower than that of neighbouring houses to the south and west.

10. How will the new hospital be powered?

As part of the planning permission conditions laid down by Rother District Council, we have to make every effort to provide a sustainable development including high levels of energy performance and carbon reduction in accordance with Policy SRM1 and 2 of the Rother Local Plan Core Strategy; Policy DRM3 of the DaSA; and, to deliver the mitigation as identified in Chapter 10 of the Environmental Statement (July 2015) and the Environmental Statement Addendum (October 2015) pursuant to the extant scheme.

Therefore, the new facilities will be all-electric with no gas, we will have 1200 sq metres of solar panels on the roofs and will be using air source heat pumps for heating and water. All materials will be as environmentally sustainable as possible.

11. Why does the building have to be so large/sprawling?

The building has been designed around the clinical needs of patients. Modern, best practice mental health care emphasises a safe and therapeutic setting, natural light, and direct access to gardens.

Each ward is based on an X-shape which enables staff to observe patients effectively and provides lots of light and good garden spaces for service users. Added together, the three wards are supported by therapy and other support spaces which form the footprint of the building.

Each ward needs to be on the same level with each other as part of best practice for service user and staff safety. This enables staff to rapidly respond to a potential emergency in an adjacent ward quickly and safely. Only administrative offices and medical education are located at the first floor level.

The flatter form of the building also helps minimise its impact on the neighbouring properties. The building is broken up by the X-shapes wards, with each arm of the X being roughly the same length as the terraced houses on Bodiam Avenue. 

12. Will the development involve any compulsory purchases of neighbouring properties?

No. There is no intention, nor need, to compulsorily purchase any properties adjoining the site.

All construction will take place within the boundaries set out in the plans.

Hospital and inpatients

13. Will this be a secure unit?

No. Any patients whose conditions cannot safely be treated other than in a secure or supervised environment will receive treatment at other facilities across Sussex.

14. Will the patients in the new hospital be a risk to the public?

No. All our patients are fully assessed and anyone deemed to be a risk to other people would be treated in more secure facilities elsewhere in the county.

15. How many patients will this hospital hold?

It will be a 54-bed hospital for adults and older people. We have got outline planning permission to extend the site at some point in the future, depending on funding being made available. This will entail more bed capacity but the exact numbers are not known at present.

16. What kind of mental health will this hospital cater for?

The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides care and treatment for people with conditions such as psychosis, depression, anxiety, dementia and personality disorder. For more information, please see our website at: https://www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/.

The vast majority of our patients are cared for in the community close to family and friends. However, on the occasions when people need to be cared for as inpatients, they need to be treated in a high quality environment which provides opportunities for the best therapeutic care.

People are admitted to inpatient services such as those that will be available in these new facilities will experience conditions such as psychosis, borderline personality disorder and emotionally unstable personality disorder (BPD/EUPD).

For instance, psychosis (also called a 'psychotic experience' or 'psychotic episode') is when you perceive or interpret reality in a very different way from people around you.  The most common types of psychotic experiences are hallucinations, delusions, disordered thinking and speech.

Psychosis affects people in different ways. People might experience it once, have short episodes throughout their life, or live with it most of the time.

Some people may become so unwell that they need to come into hospital for a period of assessment and treatment.  Treatment will consist of a range of interventions, including talking therapies, medication and Occupational Therapy.

Everyone can experience difficulties with our relationships, self-image and emotions. A diagnosis of BPD/EUPD is when a person is feels consistently unstable or experiences intense emotions all of the time and this can cause significant problems in daily life.

This may include feeling very worried about people abandoning them or have very intense emotions that can change quickly, for example, from feeling very happy and confident in the morning to feeling low and sad in the afternoon).

Some people may require admission to hospital because they are high risk of self-harm and may feel suicidal. People admitted to hospital will be offered further assessment and treatment which will include a range of interventions to help manage their condition and reduce risks.  

You may be aware that one in four people in the UK will encounter a mental health issue each year - this hospital will be there to support all people that may be affected. It will provided the care  necessary to enable them a swift and healthy return to their homes, employment and families.

17. Will young people be treated at the hospital?

No. This will be a hospital for adults and older people.

18. Will the new hospital be operating 24 hours a day?

Yes. However, it is worth emphasising that there will be no emergency department so most patients will be referred from other services and more often than not will arrive during the day. Visiting hours will also only be during the day or early evening.

19. What security will be in place at the hospital to safeguard local residents?

All our sites meet the necessary security requirements for hospitals of this nature. This new hospital would allow patients to leave the hospital site, to go to the shops, for instance. They are likely to be accompanied by a member of staff. We can assure you that we would not let any patients leave the site who may pose a risk to themselves or the public. Anyone deemed a risk will be patients in one of our secure units, elsewhere in the county.

20. Will there be CCTV and lighting?

Yes. CCTV cameras will be installed internally and externally to ensure a safe and secure environment for patients and staff. These cameras will focus on the hospital site only, and not the wider environment. Lighting will be installed but designed to be discreet and not a light nuisance for neighbouring properties.

21. What will be on the boundaries?  What about landscaping?

The proposed building has been designed in a parkland-like setting. Access and views out to nature is one of the most important elements that we can provide in the physical environment for service users. The site will utilise and protect the existing trees on site and supplement them with new trees and other planting to form a pleasant zone between the proposed building and neighbouring houses.

22. Will it be noisy?

It is important that our patients are treated in a calm and tranquil environment so every attempt will be made to achieve this, reducing unnecessary noise being a priority.

23. Why is there a need for a 5.2m (17 feet) fence for the private gardens?

The ward garden fence heights are currently under review but at their highest, they would be 5.2m (17 feet). The significant height is necessary to maintain patient safety. 

Transport, travel and parking

24. How many parking spaces are proposed?

Phase 1 has 100 spaces plus six disabled spaces. This is to provide plenty of parking during peak demand during shift changeover times.  A similar number will be provided on Phase 2.

25. Will there be sufficient parking on the site to avoid overspill on to adjoining residential roads?

We have worked out the optimum number of spaces needed for a development of this size and analysed the potential flow of traffic in and out of the site (bearing in mind staff work in shifts and there are specific visiting times). This means we would anticipate that there would not be any need for people to park their cars in adjoining roads. Also, we will be encouraging people to use public transport wherever possible to get to the site.

A parking accumulation assessment will be undertaken as part of the Transport Assessment to demonstrate the balance of parking provision for the operation of the proposals, to ensure no overspill parking on local streets, while promoting sustainable policy objectives. 

26. Will the new hospital make the roads busier for existing residents?

As a mental health facility, the new hospital will not operate in the same way as a physical health hospital, trip profiles for staff, visitors, and patients:

Staff – will arrive and depart the site over the course of the day in accordance with respective shift patterns.  There will be varying staff on early morning, afternoon, evening, and late evening shifts (staying overnight), with the peak turnover of staff expected to occur typically during the afternoon. 

Visitors – it is envisaged that visiting hours will be between 2pm and 8pm.  Visitors will have to pre-book in advance with a limit on the total number of visitors on any ward at any one time.

Patients – once a patient has arrived on site it is expected that their stay would be longer-term with no access to a car, and therefore limiting daily patient trips.

With consideration to the above, the effect of the proposals on the local transport networks is expected to be negligible in comparison to the consented site use. 

The Transport Assessment will consider the operation of the proposals on the local road network, including the Wrestwood Road/Mount View Street signal controlled junction. 

27. Will there be public transport access to the site?

We understand that Bovis/Vistry, who are developing housing opposite the hospital site, will be funding increased frequencies of the No.98/98a buses which will run between Bexhill and Hastings, running through the housing development to Pebsham. The number of buses will increase from one bus an hour to 2-3 buses an hour, with services running later in the evenings and on Sundays. Some of the buses will also take in Hailsham and Polegate. This is due to be implemented later in 2023.

We will be part-funding a bus shelter at the hospital entrance and one on the opposite side of Mount View Street.

East Sussex County Council will be creating an 'interchange' at Bexhill station to make it easier for people to transfer from trains or other bus routes to the No.98/98a buses. This will include more comfortable surrounding with real time information. This is also due to be implemented in 2023.

In the meantime, we have carried out a full transport analysis for the site and have established a transport and travel review group to look at the travel and transport implications of our plans. The reports from these two activities can be found on the public consultation website: New mental health hospital in Bexhill: consultation

28. Will there be emergency vehicles coming in all the time?

No. There will be no emergency department so emergency vehicles will not be a regular feature of the site. Most patients will be referred from other services and more often than not will arrive during the day by a variety of means. Visiting hours will also only be during the day or early evening.

Other matters

29. What compensation will be offered to residents of the development, which is new, to provide security to their homes?

We can assure you that the hospital will not cause any additional security risk for people living locally. Our site at Mill View Hospital in Hove, for instance, is successfully integrated into the community with no additional security measures needed for local residents. There will be no compensation of this nature although people may want to speak to the developers.

30. What impact do you think this will have on local house prices and ability to sell close to a mental health hospital?

This would not be us to comment. However, anecdotal evidence from our other sites shows no difference in house prices adjacent to our hospitals, and those further away. 

31. Will there be any impact on local wildlife because of these plans?

We have undertaken a detailed ecological survey. Where wildlife, such as badgers or reptiles, has been is identified on the site, it has been sensitively relocated, if necessary. They will be allowed to return once building work is complete.

All construction will take into account of the need to retain the integrity of site boundaries and not damage any wildlife habitats.

We will also look into planting wildlife-friendly flora in addition to the existing trees and bushes.


Ecological works October/November 2022

Towards the end of October, and beginning of November, our ecology experts will be working to make sure wildlife on the Mount View Street site, including badgers and reptiles, are protected during construction.

They will:

  • close what is called a 'subsidiary' badger sett near the site entrance - this means that badgers are encouraged to move back to their alternative setts outside of the site boundary, well away from construction activity, and
  • installing a fence to stop slow worms, common lizards and grass snakes from entering the site during the build (this will be removed when work finishes).

This work will involve clearing vegetation and a small amount of excavation - all carried out by licensed ecologists and specialist contractors.

Our Q&A below should answer any questions you may have:

Q: Who will be carrying out this ecological work?

A: WSP Ecology. https://www.wsp.com/en-au/services/ecology

We regularly undertake ecological surveys and mitigation activities. The badger and reptile mitigation activities will be supervised by suitably experienced ecologists, including the badger sett closure works which will be overseen by a Named Ecologist which Natural England deem to have sufficient experience to oversee such an activity. 

JHD Ecological. https://www.jhdecological.co.uk/home.html

They are a relatively local contractor that supplies and installs tens of thousands of meters of reptile and newt fencing throughout the southeast every year.

The work with badgers is under licence with natural England, and the mitigation plan approved with the planning application has been reviewed and approved by Natural England.

Q: What usually happens to the badgers once their subsidiary sett is blocked?

A: Badgers live in ‘clans’ and they use a number of different setts throughout the year. The sett to be closed is a subsidiary sett, used occasionally by a small number of badgers. Badgers displaced from this sett will make use of the remaining setts available to their clan.

Q: Are there any young badgers affected?

Because the sett closure will take place under licence outside of the typical badger breeding season, young badgers are not expected to be affected by the works

Q: There is one sett on the periphery of the site which will remain. Will any relocated badgers be in conflict with the badgers in this sett?

A: Badgers that were using the subsidiary sett are likely to be part of the same clan as the existing sett to the north of the site, and so we don’t expect these badgers to be forced into conflict. 

Q: What type of reptiles will be relocated as part of this work?

A: Slow worm, common lizard and grass snake.

Q: Are there any endangered species being affected?

A: All species of reptiles and badgers are protected under UK national legislation and, therefore, we are taking appropriate mitigation before we begin construction to make sure reptiles and badgers are not hurt as a result of the development. 

We will also be creating piles of dead wood and logs to mitigate the loss of potential habitat for stag beetles.

Q: How are the reptiles relocated?

A: Ecologists will carry out a sweep of the area to be cleared which involves cutting back vegetation. This is followed by a further sweep and investigation, including turning over soil, if required.

Any reptiles found will be moved by ecologists to an area of safe, suitable habitat outside of the construction area.

Q: How does the reptile fencing work?

A: We will install 500mm high polythene sheeting which will be slightly buried and supported by timber stakes to prevent reptiles entering the site during the build.

Once construction is complete, we will remove the fencing to let the reptiles back on to the site.


 

If you have any views, comments or suggestions about our plans, please provide your feedback through our dedicated email address: esxccg.eastsussex.mh@nhs.net

Or you can call us on 0330 304 0330 (local rates apply), or write to us at:

Freepost RSHG - GEZL - RBBK
Communications
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Trust Headquarters
Arundel Road
Worthing
BN13 3EP

Our proposals to move inpatient mental health services from the Department of Psychiatry at Eastbourne District General Hospital to a new hospital on a site in Mount View Street, Bexhill-on-Sea, have been developed over a period of more than three years.

Read the full details about how the plans were developed, the outcome of the formal public consultation which took place between June and September, 2021, and the decision-making process we needed to complete before getting approval for our final plans.