As the Whiteleaf Centre nears completion, the new hospital development in Aylesbury is set to become a facility of excellent quality. The centre will transform mental health service provision in Buckinghamshire, and be a significant improvement on the existing facilities, situated mainly at the Tindal Centre and the John Hampden Unit.

The end of 2013 marks an exciting phase of the project. The building is nearly ready for staff to begin their familiarization of the site and on-site training, which needs to be completed in advance of patient services moving in. There are, however, a few final details that need to be completed before handover from the building contractor is signed off, to ensure that the trust’s rigorous and ambitious targets are met for the site to be a leading facility for the delivery of caring, safe and excellent mental health services.

The plan is to move services into the new site in a phased approach from early in 2014. Equipping and operational commissioning the building will be scheduled in January, after the official handover. This will be undertaken in parallel with the staff familiarization and on-site training events. It is important that this is not rushed so that the trust is ready to deliver the highest standards of care from the day services move in. Therefore, although services are expected to move in from February onwards, the precise dates for any individual ward, clinic or team have not yet been confirmed.

We will provide regular updates over the coming weeks, and we will be communicating directly with service users and carers about the changes, what to expect and, once it has been confirmed, the date for services to move in.