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Environment matters

Posted by Martin Preston
on 13 Feb 2019

Delamere, the UK’s first and only purpose – built behavioural health and addiction clinic is opening very soon. Our project represents a clear intention to take addiction residential care to a new level and we’re looking forward to welcoming clients, colleagues and friends to our clinic in the coming months.

Delamere rehab environment

Today, I thought I’d share briefly some of what we’re about and talk specifically about our environment; something we feel is one of the many things that sets us apart from what is available elsewhere.  Having just visited our site to review progress on our building project and having this morning signed off on our interior design concepts its’s top of mind today, especially.

First though, I’d like to set the scene and provide some brief context about how our project came about.  It’s been been a long journey to date; one that encompasses my own battle with addiction and own my experience in helping many people access treatment elsewhere.  Four years ago now, having been sober over a decade, I decided to set about launching my own clinic.  

My vision is to provide exemplary care in first class facilities and to prove that anyone can break the cycle of addiction and make profound personal transformations with the right help.  Frustrated, truth be told, with the lack of innovation in the UK residential addiction treatment sector, I observed that environment is typically underinvested in, standards vary considerably and outcomes are rarely published. 

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I decided that if I was to embark on my own clinic, it would have to be different – not for the sake of it – but in order to raise standards across a generally tired sector – and crucially help clients achieve lasting outcomes.

My research has found me travelling quite literally across the globe and meeting with and speaking to countless professionals who have made a vocation of helping people recover from addiction.  I’ve visited over 50 rehab clinics, I’ve met with academics, therapists, psychiatrists and doctors.  It’s been a fascinating journey and I’ve learned a lot.  Some of those learnings have helped shape what we will offer at Delamere.  More than anything though, spending four years running an addiction helpline – listening day in and day out to tens of people who are seeking treatment has given me a real sense of what is lacking.  My own journey through rehab (on more than one occasion) before finally getting into long term recovery, has also informed what we will do differently at Delamere.

Here we seek to combine the latest and best therapeutic, somatic and healing practices, within a welcoming nurturing setting and I will share more soon about our treatment programme and approach.  

For now, and returning to the title of this blog, I’d like to talk specifically about environment.  In the UK, rehab tends to be offered out of older buildings not necessarily fit for purpose. I realised if we were going to do this properly, we’d have to start from scratch.  

So we set about finding a site on which we could develop a purpose- built environment – one that would defy the conventions in the market and provide the perfect setting for addiction treatment care.  This of course is the slow and the expensive way to enter the market, yet we seek to offer something exemplary, as you know.  Eventually we found a site and then ‘into bat’ with the council for 18 months about demolishing a former care home building – one that many might have given a lick of paint and opened in a matter of months.  Badgers, bats and newts attended to and a green light on the planning 18 months after our application, we started on site.  This set back afforded us time to do more research and finesse our scheme with our architect, who specialises in care. 

Remember those conventions in the market (old Victorian house on the hill or former care home building?).  Those had to be smashed and we worked hard to develop a scheme that was in no way institutional, somewhere we’d want to stay. This stuff matters and it makes a difference.  

The Department of Health put it quite well ‘The overriding challenge for providers of healthcare and associated physical environments in which care is delivered, is reconciling the need for safety, effectiveness and efficiency and the need for creating a truly therapeutic environment.’

Here’s where we’ve got to.  We hope you like it.

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Environment matters
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Environment matters
Your rehab clinic environment matters, read why with the latest Delamere blog post.
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Delamere Rehab
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About the author: Martin Preston

Martin created Delamere in order to provide exemplary care in first class facilities. Find out more about Martin on our team page.

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