Creating a Health Based Place of Safety


I&G have completed a duo of mental health facility refurbishment projects with Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust (SHSC), to help them refurbish and upgrade their new Health Based Place of Safety at the Longley Centre.

A Health Based Place of Safety is an area where the Trust can work together with service users to understand how they can best support them at moments of crisis. It’s a place where people are treated with respect and kindness to support their mental health, and it’s essential for their recovery that the space is safe and comfortable for those using it.

Following the successful completion of the Burbage and Stannage Wards at the Michael Carlisle Centre, SHSC wanted I&G to deliver an initial project of new office and support space for the mental health team at the Longley Centre, followed by a new mental health inpatient ward.

The solution
The first section of the project involved delivering a refurbishment project to create new office and support space, consisting of a new reception, office refurbishment and infrastructure for the Longley Centre staff and patients. The main access point for users of the site, the area has now been transformed into a therapeutic and calming space, to improve patient care and the way in which mental health services are provided by SHSC. Designed with a focus on comfort and safety the design was informed by users to create an adaptable space which can be adjusted to suit future needs of the facility.
Scroll across to see the works included.
An aerial view of The Longley Centre
Works included:
• New open reception area, with seated waiting area and office environment
• Open-plan offices
• Breakout spaces
• Meeting rooms
• Interview rooms
• Welfare areas
• Colourful wall art
• Ceiling sky panels
• Installation of heating and ventilation systems.
A communal area at the Longley Centre mental health facility
Head of Service for Acute and Community Services, SHSC

Laura Wiltshire says:

“I am so proud of all the work we’ve put into the design of this new environment to ensure we provide the best possible experience we can for our service users.

“It’s spacious, bright and calming, with outdoor space too. We are committed to quality at SHSC and this is a great example of how, by working together, we can make real improvements for the lives of people in our communities.”

A sign saying 'Health based place of safety'

The Solution

The second part of the project was a new ward for the Longley Centre, to enhance patient care and wellbeing.

• Spacious suites
• En-suite bathrooms in each room
• One fully accessible room
• Dedicated triage and observation rooms
• A kitchen for the staff team

Throughout, there is improved lighting and decor, including a homely carpet to dampen noise, and sensory lighting options which include changeable colours and circadian rhythm lighting, alongside customisable heating for each individual suite. A private internal courtyard provides a safe and nurturing environment for patients and staff alike, and artwork from local landscape artist Jill Ray aims to ‘bring the outside in’. All areas are built to be safe, long-lasting and fit for purpose.

A courtyard at The Longley Centre mental health inpatient facility

The challenges

The design was informed by the users of this space to create an adaptable environment that can be adjusted to suit the building users’ needs and any future expansion.

The scheme included the installation and upgrade of a heating and ventilation system to serve the building, with a new mechanical plant to complete the works, ensuring the long-term future of the department at the hospital site.

Throughout the project, we worked alongside the Trust’s staff, capital team and therapeutic environments team to ensure the project’s design and delivery created the best environment for patients and staff, utilising the extensive experience of both SHSC’s work with patients and I&G’s specialism in working in technical and complicated clinical environments.

A bedroom at The Longley Centre mental health facility

The result

Thanks to the effort of the trust, designers, consultants and our hardworking team, the handover was completed ahead of time.

I&G has a strong partnership with the Trust, having worked on several similar schemes over recent years. Specialising in complex construction projects in the health, education and food manufacturing industries, I&G has a team of experts that are used to working in live environments and delivering high quality facilities to meet the needs of their users.

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Watch a flythrough of the completed Longley Centre

"I want to say a big thank you to everybody in the capital and therapeutic environments team who have led this project with focus, energy and passion to build a space which will be a real improvement for people who use our services. A thank you too to all the people who have come together with us through coproduction. The new Health Based Place of Safety is the realisation of all your efforts and it is something to be very proud of."

Adele Sabin, Head of Theraputic Environments Project Team, SHSC