Arcade games, sensory lighting, neon signs and pool tables are just some of the equipment which has helped to transform a clinical space at a Woking mental health hospital as part of a unique collaboration between patients and staff.

Cygnet Hospital Woking social hub
The social hub includes a giant screen and games chairs (Cygnet Health Care )

Service users at Cygnet Hospital Woking, a 62-bed mental health hospital, now have access to social hubs, away from the wards after unused spaces in the hospital were given a makeover to provide a safe space for relaxation and socialising.

The Social Hubs came about after feedback from patients who said they would benefit from having non-clinical rooms in which to wind down.

Working from a wish list of items provided by service users, staff and Cygnet Health Care Expert by Experience members spent a day at Cygnet Hospital Woking, on Redding Way, Knaphill, transforming an empty room into a space featuring games consoles, arcade machines, sensory lighting and a newly clothed pool table.

The idea is that the social hubs offer a non-clinical, homely space for service users to relax and engage in fun activities and peer support sessions, giving them a safe space away from the wards.

Service users were escorted to a local shopping centre where they helped to choose items for the hub.

Raf Hamaizia, Cygnet Health Care Expert by Experience Lead, said: “This project demonstrates how staff and service users can enhance the built environment and engagement through working together.

Cygnet Hospital Woking social hub
Patients have praised the social hub as giving positive and relaxing energy and being stunning and helping them to stay chilled (Cygnet Health Care )

“The new social hubs are a great place for service users to get off the wards to relax and socialise, particularly on evenings and weekends.

“Feedback from the community meetings at services has been really positive with one service user saying that the room ‘gives a positive and relaxing energy’ and another remarking that it is ‘stunning and helps us to stay chilled’.”