A new mental health hospital could be built on the site of the existing building that has 'little changed from its origins as an asylum', said an NHS Trust.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust proposes to build a brand-new mental health hospital and 'reconfigure' the existing Warneford Hospital into a new post-graduate college of Oxford University.

The Headington site is already occupied by several research centres including the University of Oxford department of psychiatry and the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity as well as the award-winning Highfield Unit adolescent mental health ward.

Warneford Park could become "a world-leading brain sciences campus", providing "an integrated clinical mental healthcare, learning and research facility", states a scoping report submitted to Oxford City Council.

Oxford Mail: Warneford Hospital site plans

It is hoped construction of the new hospital, which will provide 132 beds, could begin in 2025 to be completed by 2027.

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Work on the post graduate college and student accommodation would begin in 2027 and be completed by 2029.

A report prepared by RSK Environment Ltd states there will be an ‘appropriate’ and ‘sensitive’ approach to the re-use of the listed building and the historic setting will be protected.

The mortuary, chapel and lawn will all be retained alongside the lodge, apple house and former isolation hospital which are adjacent to the main hospital building.

All non-historic hospital buildings including the main hospital’s ancillary buildings and modern additions will be demolished.

The main access will continue to be from Roosevelt Drive with a new entrance leading to an underground car park under the new hospital.

In a brochure for Warneford Park, Dr Nick Broughton, CEO Oxford Health, states: "Warneford is a name set to become synonymous with world class brain sciences and an unparalleled, state-of-the-art mental health hospital fit for the 21st century.

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"Our ambitious plans are driven by a unique collaboration between Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Oxford and a philanthropic developer."

The scoping report states that the mental health hospital, which houses four in-patient wards for adult mental health care, was deemed ‘not fit for purpose’ by the Care Quality Commission in 2015.

The Warneford Park brochure states: "Oxford Warneford will be a symbol of significant investment, turning the tide on an historic lack of funding – best highlighted by the acknowledgement of Oxford Health still providing compassionate care in a Grade II listed building that has little changed from its origins as the ‘asylum on the hill’ in 1824.

"It is the oldest in-patient unit still in use across the whole of the NHS."