"Mental Health Unit & Oasis Bubble Cafe"
About: Stepping Hill Hospital Stepping Hill Hospital Stockport SK2 7JE
Having attended 3 appointments now with my partner at this unit, I have to say that the cosmetic changes since I last came here over a decade ago have sadly not improved it for the better. The attempt to create a hotel-style reception area is badly let down by having no windows or any natural light coming in and being so incredibly poorly lit - and the few pieces of furniture that are available in the waiting area are sadly rather grubby. "How unbelievably soul-destroying?" springs instantly to mind on entering this particular area of Stepping Hill. The poorly maintained toilets are possibly the dirtiest ones that I have come across in some time and had no choice but to use. And the reception itself, is a rather strange affair? A thick barrier, presumably for the protection of the staff, means that you have to shout your personal and private details through the screen to the great interest and often amusement of other people sat waiting there. Yet sound-wise, every last detail of private conversations between staff to each other and also on telephones to patients can then be heard quite clearly by everyone in the waiting area as well? So the overall impression to this visitor then, is that this particular waiting room has to be one of the most depressing, indiscreet and impersonal places to have to spend a couple of hours in, every 6 weeks. Which considering the very nature of the Unit itself is all the more sad for both the In-patients and the staff that have to spend all day and every day there. Thankfully though, just a few yards away is Stepping Hill's fantastic secret little gem - the Oasis Bubble Café. I can not begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed sitting both inside, and outside in it's lovely little inner garden space, and enjoyed some of the best coffee I have come across. They even do a Loyalty Card as well? - buy 9 and get the 10th one free. The Paninis are also a revelation too - crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and quite generously stuffed with delicious fillings (I can heartily recommend the Mozarella Cheese & Roasted Veg). I love to frequent cafes and tearooms fairly regularly and this humble little hospital café has to be one of my favourite places now to enjoy a very reasonably priced and top quality tasty snack. The homemade cakes too are exceptionally good and so I am regularly tempted to indulge - a Dark Chocolate & Fig one recently was sooo good, I was almost in two minds whether to go all out and try to force another slice down! - LOL! I am just amazed to discover that more people haven't also come forward to complement it and also it's staff too. Perhaps it is a secret place that is not to be shared with the rest of the general public or the outside world? ...Ooops! All visitors should make a beeline for here. Do go and enjoy - I am sure that you won't be disappointed ;o>