Mental health scheme wins award

Landscape at Welsh care unit has healthy benefits

A landscape designed by Capita for a mental-health unit has won an award for highly sensitive design and therapeutic planting. Bro Cerwyn adult mental illness and psychiatry of old age unit in Havefordwest won the best designed mental health facility by the NHS Estates Building Better Healthcare Awards. Staff have noticed levels of patients' violent and aggressive behaviour has reduced. Nigel Ford, principal landscape architect for Capita Property Consultancy in Cardiff, said he had to satisfy local fears over violent clients and design areas for genders and mothers with babies. Ford’s team designed an external dining area, seating and sensory plantings that encourage wild life. The scheme also has textured surfaces and grassed areas for patients to burn off energy playing boules and tennis. Or they can chill by the water feature whose calming effect helps to reduce aggression. A glazed external courtyard allows patients to appreciate the landscape in inclement weather. The local Grounds and Gardens Consultative Group helped to drive through the £300,000 project and Phillip Cunningham of Wolf's Castle Potteries played a key role in winning over locals.

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