NHS England Chair learns more about our vision for 21st century brain health care on Warneford Hospital tour

Oxford Health was delighted to welcome the Chair of NHS England, Richard Meddings CBE on a fact-finding tour where he learned more of the Trust’s ambitious plans for a new state-of-the art hospital set within a brain health sciences campus.

NHS England Chair learns more about our vision for 21st century brain health care on Warneford Hospital tour

During the two-hour meeting on Monday (21.11.22), Chief Executive Dr Nick Broughton spoke with Mr Meddings about a Warneford Vision; how momentum is building around developing the Headington site – currently home the oldest inpatient mental health wards in the NHS.

Clinicians and medics across the Trust have been involved in helping develop proposals for a new 21st century hospital via a series of engagement events, ensuring their knowledge and experiences are captured to create the best treatment and therapy spaces in the design which is expected to be lodged with planning authorities in 2023.

Along with Trust Chair David Walker, Mr Meddings also met Professor John Geddes, who leads the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre which recently won £35.4m in funding to research 11 new brain health themes that will result in life-changing translational therapies for people with mental health conditions.

Together they visited the NIHR Oxford cognitive health Clinical Research Facility, which recently received £4million in funding. It delivers patient orientated early phase experimental clinical research. During the pandemic the CRF rapidly adapted to the challenges of COVID-19, supporting the delivery of two major vaccine trials.

The Trust’s award-winning Highfield Unit, which has an 18-bed inpatient unit for young people as part of Oxford Health’s CAMHS (children and adolescent mental health service) was also visited during the tour alongside the adjoining site where an 8-bed psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) is under construction and expected to open in the new year.

This unit will be able to provide specialist care for young people experiencing the most acutely disturbed phase of a serious mental disorder so they can receive short-term treatment closer to home.

Dr Broughton commented: “It was a great opportunity to share our vision with the Chair and bring to life our hopes, aims and aspirations to be the best Trust of our kind in the country and to develop a brain health sciences campus of national and international significance.”

Mr Meddings was appointed to the role of NHS England Chair in March 2022 and during his four-year term he will focus on the health service’s recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and workforce expansion. He previously served on HM Treasury’s board and as Chair of TSB Bank, and is a non-executive director at Credit Suisse.

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Published: 24 November 2022