Contract Name: Bracton Centre, Dartford
Contract Value: £2.03 million
Contract Period: 40 weeks
Client: Oxleas NHS Trust

The Bracton Centre provides a range of specialist forensic mental health services for people aged 18-65 living in the boroughs of Bromley, Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham, and other boroughs when requested.

The centre offers assessment, treatment and rehabilitation via a number of specialist clinics.

Rydon has constructed a new medium secure reception facility comprising a two-storey building containing:

  • Reception/site security control centre
  • ‘Search’ room
  • Training/conference room
  • Staff changing facilities
  • Key control centre

External works required significant re-landscaping and tree removal prior to the installation of 1.5 km of weldmesh fencing to the perimeter of the centre, incorporating ‘Air Lock’ vehicular gates and double key security locking.

The new sustainable facilities incorporated a green roof and daylight dimming controls. Under-floor heating increased robustness and reduced the potential for patient damage.  The nature of the patient group required the design to be extremely robust throughout, be anti-ligature in nature and highly secure via both passive supervision and electronic and manual locking systems.  Keys are controlled via a ‘Key Tracker’ safe system to prevent keys leaving the premises or being copied.  An IR staff attack alarm system compatible across the whole campus has been extended to cover the whole of the new building to further aid staff security, alongside comprehensive site-wide CCTV coverage.

Construction challenges included the secure management of construction deliveries and activities within the confines of a medium secure mental health facility.  This required high levels of supervision and access under escort to co-ordinate successful delivery to time and budget whilst accounting for in excess of 30 contractual variations that added nearly 25% to the contract value at completion.