Permission given for Chesterfield’s Hartington Unit to be replaced

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Proposals to replace Chesterfield’s Hartington Unit with a new mental health hospital have been approved.

Chesterfield Borough Council has granted conditional planning permission for the new 54-bed facility to be built at the Chesterfield Royal site, on an area of land to the south-east of the existing hospital buildings.

It will offer ‘improved privacy and dignity’ with single rooms across three floors and ‘support men, women and non-binary patients’, according to Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the organisation behind the scheme.

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Chesterfield's Hartington Unit.Chesterfield's Hartington Unit.
Chesterfield's Hartington Unit.

In its application form, the trust said: “The Care Quality Commission has formally required us to end the practice of service users sharing rooms within wards.

“As such, acute service users will no longer be permitted to stay in dormitory accommodation from March 2024 onwards.

“This affects the existing Hartington Unit.

“Due to the constraints of the existing facility, it is not feasible to refurbish the Hartington Unit to meet the new requirements.

“Therefore, a new 54-bed acute mental health facility is required.

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“The proposed scheme will therefore effectively replace the Hartington Unit.

“Ultimately, the proposed development (and a proposed scheme in Derby) will expand the capacity of the trust to deliver much-needed mental health care and services across Derbyshire.”

The Chesterfield and Derby schemes, which will cost a total of £80million, are due to open to patients in 2024.

When the plans were unveiled, Ifti Majid, the trust’s chief executive, said: “This investment is fantastic news for the people of Derbyshire and allows us to provide a better environment in which people can receive support for their mental health needs.

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“I am delighted to be able to confirm that we will be able to offer our patients improved privacy and dignity through these new developments.”

The construction of the new hospital will see four mature oak trees removed.

Recommending the proposals for conditional planning permission, officers said: “The substantial social benefits this development will bring to the area is considered to outweigh the loss of the trees.”

Officers also welcomed the fact that an environmentally-friendly renewable energy centre will be built at the site to help power the new unit.

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