Atherleigh Park – Case Study

Client: North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Architects: AFL Architects
Main contractor: Kier
Internal doors: Datim
Total project costs: £40 million


North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, working with AFL Architects and Kier Group (under the NHS Procure21+ procurement initiative) have created Atherleigh Park, a new £40 million mental health hospital on Atherleigh Way, Leigh.

Located on the former Leigh East Amateur Rugby League ground, the purpose-built facility provides high quality inpatient services for adults suffering from mental health issues as well as patients with dementia and memory conditions.

The hospital includes:

  • 48 en-suite bedrooms for vulnerable adults with mental ill-health:
    • 20-bed male ward
    • 20-bed female ward
    • eight-bed psychiatric intensive care unit
  • 26-bed unit providing short stay intermediate care for patients with dementia and memory conditions
  • 16-bed unit for older people with mental ill-health
  • Light, spacious environment
  • Communal areas to promote physical health and wellbeing, including sports hall, gym, outdoor courtyards, therapy rooms, landscaped gardens and nature trail
  • Café open to patients, visitors, staff and public

Atherleigh Park facilitates new ways of working and improved patient care with a focus on holistic care, while individual en-suite patient bedrooms promote enhanced privacy, dignity and respect.

Key drivers for the project included: designing a building that acts as a catalyst to help implement new clinical care pathways; improving the patient experience and staff effectiveness; and de-stigmatising mental health.

Atherleigh Park is located in the heart of the Leigh community, encouraging engagement with local people. In addition, space is provided for use by community groups and charities.


Considerable thought

Interior architecture and design were given considerable thought, reflecting contemporary approaches to mental health services and dementia care which recognise the importance of these elements in the healing process. From day one, the architects worked closely with an engagement group comprising service users, ex-service users, carers, local councillors and local residents.

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More than 150 Vistamatic vision panels were supplied for Atherleigh Park. The Anti-Ligature Vision Panel offers a combination of high integrity glazing whilst incorporating a powder coated mild steel frame and anti-ligature device specifically designed for challenging mental healthcare environments. The steel frames surrounding the vision panels were powder coated in specific RAL colours in order to match the doors, in doing this it made them less institutional looking without compromising on the security and durability.

Engineered to comply with the Department of Health environmental design principles for adult medium secure units, the Vistamatic Anti-Ligature is offered with the unique Vistamatic Lifetime Warranty. Manufactured from Marine grade 316 stainless steel, the Vistamatic Anti-Ligature vision panel is designed to ensure safe and secure observation in the most challenging environments.

Vistamatic were specified by Datim for the Atherleigh Park project based on the reliability and quality of their products in the market and the fact that they had previous experience of Vistamatic’s market-leading products and excellent customer service. Datim were supplying European Oak veneer doors, with Vistamatic vision panels and complimented by Datim’s ANTI-LIGADURA Stainless Steel ironmongery collection. All are covered by Vistamatic and Datim’s unrivalled guarantee to meet the demanding requirements of the mental health environment with sever duty rated Doorsets specially designed for protection for both the service users and the staff, and include anti barricade removable stops, hardwood tri-laminated core doors and vandal resistant ironmongery.