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Sir David Nicholson, KCB CBE (pictured above far left) joined staff and members of the local community on 14 April to officially open Gloucestershire’s newest hospital for dementia and older people with mental health problems.

Charlton Lane Hospital offers a modern, specialist assessment and treatment centre for people in our communities who need greater help. It is also the new base for the trust’s Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and North Cotswolds mental health community teams.

The new hospital opened its doors to patients in October 2010. Each patient has an en suite bedroom in male and female specific areas. Communal rooms are air conditioned, full of light and open on to a courtyard and external gardens.  A physiotherapy gym, art room and assessment kitchen, internet access and a visitor suite are available.

Patients, local groups, commissioners and the Health Community and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee, were involved in the planning of the hospital and students from the University of Gloucestershire will soon begin to help transform the wider gardens.

Commenting on the visit, Sir David said: “Charlton Lane is a great example of how services are at their best for patients when they truly integrate around individual needs.  When health professionals, patients, the public and local community groups work together to design services we achieve the best outcomes and quality improvements for our patients and citizens.”

Charlton Lane Hospital is a £6.8m investment.  The hospital uses the latest assistive technology to help ensure both the safety and privacy of patients. This includes pressure mats in every bed that trigger ceiling lights when a patient gets out of bed during the night.  This helps to reduce the likelihood of falls.

Shaun Clee, Chief Executive (pictured above with Sir David) said: “It is really important that inpatient care is readily available when it is needed.  We also know that an appropriate stay in hospital with focused treatment and support increases the chances of a return to living independently.

“Ensuring that the move from home to hospital and back again is co-ordinated and supported appropriately is vital Charlton Lane Hospital is part of an overall service including community teams, primary care and social care.  This co-ordinated approach has already enabled more people stay at home in familiar surroundings with the care they need.  We have one of the lowest readmission rates in England”. 

Baroness Fritchie, Chair (pictured above with Shaun and Sir David) said: “Many people have worked extremely hard to thoughtfully plan and design Charlton Lane Hospital. It is testimony to the foresight and support of NHS Gloucestershire, public and staff commitment, that we are now able to provide such an excellent hospital that patients tell us is welcoming and where staff take pleasure in working.  Everyone should be proud of what we have achieved for our communities.”