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Atherleigh Park Mental Health Hospital

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Atherleigh Park is a five-ward mental health hospital in Leigh, Wigan, that has set a new standard for mental healthcare excellence in the UK.

AFL Architects designed this healthcare facility with the aim to provide the feeling and aesthetic of a ‘community’ building rather than a hospital.

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

The new hospital was developed on a 3.9 hectare site which was formerly the Leigh East Amateur Rugby League ground, and has been built over two-stories from a combination of structural steel and structural insulated panels (SIP) using both cedar and red brick cladding on the exterior.

Full-height glazing is used to allow for natural light and views overs the landscaped areas, including a dedicated therapy garden.

The facility has 86 bedrooms, 48 en-suite (20 male acute, 20 female acute, 8 bed mixed).

It also has a 22-bed unit which provides short stay intermediate care for patients with dementia and memory conditions as well as a 16-bed unit for older people with mental health issues.

From the outer boundary of the site, the first opportunity for the building to successfully integrate into the wider community is the public realm where staff, service users as well as the general public may informally interact, diffusing the boundary between the hospital and the outside.

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