Bedfordshire and Luton Mental Health and Social Care Partnership NHS Trust

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Part of Enhancing the Healing Environment

Date started: 1 Nov 2004
Organisation: mental health
Service: mental health
Project: social spaces

Project location

Wellar Wing, Bedford Hospital.

Now part of South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.

Aims and Outcomes

The dining room of the non-purpose built mental health unit was only used for mealtimes, and was cluttered and felt unwelcoming and uncomfortable. The team wanted to create a more sociable area with direct access to the garden that could be used for a range of activities.

The space available has been maximised and transformed into The Billabong, a vibrant and welcoming area. Folding doors now allow direct access to the garden. The ceiling has been lowered and a new lighting system installed. Different types of flooring help to delineate the areas as well as creating an area adjacent to the garden which can be used as a performance space. New crockery, tables and chairs have been purchased and a video projector and roll-down screen installed for musical performances, film screenings and family events.

Over 110 service users and staff were involved in creating the artworks using aboriginal mark making techniques and this theme led to the choice of colours for the refurbishment.

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