Plans for Warneford Park took a step forward as partners in the project signed a Conditional Option Agreement (COA) and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), agreeing how they will work together going forward.
If plans are approved, Warneford Park will provide a new mental health hospital alongside a major brain health research and innovation campus and a new postgraduate medical college of the University. This hub will aim to tackle some of the most important issues in brain health by discovering new drug therapies, and new forms of treatment which will have a positive impact on patient care not just here in Oxfordshire, but across the NHS and globally. To make this vision a reality Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust are working in partnership with the University of Oxford and a philanthropist.
The signing of the COA, a legal contract between the Trust, the University of Oxford and a philanthropist, is designed to deliver the Warneford Park vision at the existing hospital site in Headington. It will unlock the potential of the partnership to progress plans with legal protections and assurances outlined for all parties involved.
There has been a hospital on the current Warneford Hospital site in Headington, serving the needs of local people with mental health conditions for 200 years. The Warneford site also currently houses Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry.
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive, Grant Macdonald said:
“This is a significant day for all of us in our plan to build a modern hospital for the people we serve. Warneford Park will help us deliver this aspiration alongside an outstanding facility that will foster the development of world-class healthcare, research and innovation and education. This will be an attractive place to work and deliver excellent services for our patients. In addition, it will offer study at a world class university, accelerated leading edge and impactful research, and the preservation of our historic buildings and landscapes.
“We look forward to working with our partners to bring the vision of Warneford Park to life.”
Professor Irene Tracey, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said:
“We are delighted to be moving one step closer to realising our shared vision for the redevelopment of Warneford Park, creating a modern scientific environment that suitably reflects the world-leading brain research taking place in Oxford, along with the exciting prospect of a new college.
“While there is still much to be done, we are keen to make this important project a reality so that our researchers and clinicians can translate scientific discovery – from better understanding brain illnesses, including mental health, to finding the most effective treatments – into benefits for patients, their families and communities, as quickly as possible.”
Professor Keith Channon, Director of the Oxford Academic Health Partners, which brings together Oxford’s NHS hospitals and universities to facilitate partnerships for research, education, and clinical delivery, said:
“Warneford Park’s compelling plans combine Oxford’s strengths in multi-disciplinary research with new in-patient services and clinical training to create a brain sciences campus with potential national and international significance. This transformation is strongly supported by Oxford Academic Health Partners.”