NEWLY-developed mental health wards in East Lancashire and Chorley have been shortlisted for a national award.

Judges at the Design in Mental Health Awards were impressed with two aspects of Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust's in-patient units refurbishment programme.

One was the work done to upgrade Pendleview and Hillview units at the former Queen's Park Hospital site in Blackburn, when patients were relocated from Ward 18 at Burnley General Hospital.

And the fledgling mother and baby unit at Chorley Hospital, Ribblesmere, has also been lauded in the service user engagement category.

Their nomination is tied in with their architects Gilling Dodd and artist Stella Corrall, and follows a series of patient engagement sessions staged around the county, which allowed users to pick their own warm colours palettes and interior decor.

Jenny O’Donnell, the trust's estates programme manager, said: "It is absolutely fabulous to see the Inpatient Mental Health Service Transformation Project being shortlisted at the Design in Mental Health Awards.

"The partnership that the trust, Stella and Gilling Dodd have created with service users has been crucial in ensuring that the new facilities absolutely met the needs of the people using them and in order for us to be able to provide high quality services to the people that matter.

"We are so proud to have worked with service users throughout the whole development and that this great example of co-production has been recognised nationally.

"We have received some absolutely fantastic feedback about the new wards and it is amazing to see what a difference the new facilities have already had on patients’ care and experience."

Artist Stella Corral said: "I'm thrilled that the project has been shortlisted. The creative engagement with patients and those with lived experiences helped me immerse and achieve the best understanding for patient needs on a ward environment.

"The influence on the resulting designs is apparent and it is a privilege to have been a part of the team delivering such positive transformation for Lancashire Care."

Andrew Arnold, director at Gilling Dodd, said: "We are thrilled and proud that the Ribblemere Mother and Baby unit has been shortlisted for this prestigious national design award.

"The project was not without its challenges and constraints but the finished environments created are truly transformative and illustrate what can be achieved through hard work, collaboration and team working.

"The fact that the award is for service user engagement could not be more fitting as one of the abiding memories of the scheme has been the passion, commitment and enthusiasm shown by the service users, families and staff who were involved in the design process.

"The interior design is intentionally calming and reassuring and the arts engagement/installations in particular create a real sense of place and identity. A really great design for a most valuable, emerging and far reaching service for the region."