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Frequently Asked Questions:
Cedar House Nursery
Frequently Asked Questions:
Cedar House Nursery
Frequently Asked Questions:
Cedar House Nursery
Frequently Asked Questions:
Cedar House Nursery
The Cedar House nursery based in Mapother House will remain open until summer 2023 after which it will close to allow for the once in a lifetime £120m re-development of our Maudsley Hospital campus. We will be building a brand-new nursery as part of the new development.

Mapother House, Michael Rutter Centre and the Professorial Building are at the end of their useable life span and no longer fit to provide high-quality mental health care.

They are being replaced by the Pears Maudsley Centre, a brand-new health care and research facility. The centre is currently under construction on the Maudsley Hospital campus and is due to open in September 2023. Together with the new Douglas Bennett House building, which is also under construction, the Trust is investing more than £186m in modernising its facilities in Denmark Hill. As part of these plans, the Trust intends to redevelop the old buildings into a nursery with a dedicated outdoor space and 187 new homes along De Crespigny Park.

The FAQs have been split into the following topic areas:

1. What we are doing and why will Cedar House Nursery have to close in Autumn 2023

New Douglas Bennett House and the Pears Maudsley Centre, currently under construction, will transform the standards of care we can provide to people who use our services when they open next year. This has only been possible by redeveloping Mapother House, along with the other buildings on De Crespigny Park which are no longer suitable for modern mental healthcare. 

Redeveloping part of the Maudsley estate will meet local, council and London-wide needs for more homes, with significant affordable housing, and help fund better facilities and services for local people. The redevelopment will include a new, purpose-built 350m2 staff nursery with dedicated outside space.


2. What it means for you and your family

Following the decision made by the Trust, the Cedar House Nursery will remain open until Autumn 2023.

We are looking into the feasibility of an established nursery company providing childcare services to staff and expect to conclude this detailed work within the next three months. 


3. What other options were considered?

We are an NHS organisation funded through taxpayers' money and must take this into consideration when making financial decisions. The Trust considered providing a temporary nursery on the existing car park, but it was prohibitively expensive and there would have been a significant gap in provision while the temporary accommodation was built


4. Why can't you re-provide it in a building near the site?

  • The cost to build a temporary nursery on the car park was almost £2 million for 46 places. Full occupancy caters for 69 places
  • If a commercial arrangement cannot be reached with a private nursery provider, it is our intention for Cedar House Nursery to continue to provide childcare until September 2023 when Mapother House will be vacated
  • We have made sure that everyone who is affected has been communicated with well in advance to provide enough time to seek alternative provision if we cannot find an affordable and suitable alternative
  • Parents at information evening raised fundraising as an option

5. Why hasn’t funding been identified to continue nursery in-house?

The purpose and priority for capital and ongoing revenue funding of services is prioritised for patient facing care. This is in line with our obligations as an NHS health service provider. Capital constraints at this time are such that funding is not available for the significant investment in alternative accommodation, however alternatives means of provision have and continue to be explored.

6. Was an Equality Impact Assessment completed in advance of the Trust taking the decision to close the nursery?

As part of the planning application an equality impact assessment (EIA) screening was carried out to determine if a full EIA was needed. It was deemed that a full EIA was not required.

7. When the nursery opens in the new development, will the old staff be offered their jobs back? Will the nursery staff be made redundant or redeployed?

The Trust will seek to support all our staff and our wish is that no one is made redundant. We are keen to support staff to explore new opportunities within the organisation.

8. Are there plans to re-open the waitlist?

The waitlist has been reviewed with a decision to re-open it to admit four families. The list will then close in August 2022.

Several families have confirmed they would prefer to place their child in a nursery setting that can be guaranteed beyond September 2023.


9. What mitigations have you put in place if we are not able to deliver services because of staff shortages as a result of colleagues not being able to find sufficient childcare?

The closure of the current nursery is not planned until August 2023 so there is time to plan for alternative childcare provision for the children that are already at the nursery. We hope to be able to support those families that were on the waiting list and need an urgent place for their baby to enable them to return to work.


10. Are the nursery staff jobs safe?

We are working closely with the nursery staff and discussing what the changes mean for them individually. A series of briefings and visits to the nursery to provide 1-2-1 support and respond to individual concerns is underway. The Trust don't want to lose any valued member of staff; we will support and work with them to reach a solution.

As discussed with the nursery staff, we will know more about the implications of the plans in relation to their employment over the coming months. The planned closure of the current nursery take place in 18 months. In addition to the staff briefings already held, we will be consulting with trade union representatives, and providing 1-2-1 support.

11. Why were parents and nursery staff not informed about this in November 2021?

We acknowledge that this is an incredibly challenging time and providing updates and information could have been in place earlier.

We have apologised to nursery staff and to parents using the nursery service for not communicating sooner.

We have now followed up with briefings for parents and nursery staff, and will continue to provide regular updates.

12. Download the presentation:

In our virtual event, on the Wednesday 9th February 2022, we shared this slide deck in the meeting. It is now available to download below.

Cedar House Nursery - Presentation
13. How can I provide my feedback?

We welcome your constructive and open conversation; your feedback is important to us.

You can share your feedback by emailing; 

Kate Macgregor
Interim Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development