Llandough Hospital specialist mental health unit given £88 million government grant
3:01pm Tuesday 24th September 2013 in News
HEALTH Minister Mark Drakeford has announced £88 million funding for a specialist mental health unit at University Hospital Llandough.
The grant has been pledged by the Welsh Government to provide a “modern, sustainable and purpose built” acute mental health facility which will centralise all general adult mental health inpatient services for Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan at the Llandough site.
The scheme – by Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board – will comprise a 135 bed-unit, support improved patient recovery, and result in fewer residents being cared for out of area.
It will replace services provided at Whitchurch Hospital and compliment the Llanfair Unit already at Llandough.
It will also accommodate specialist services for clients requiring addiction therapy, neuropsychiatry, intensive care, supportive recovery services, associated therapy and support services.
Health Minister Mark Drakeford said the proposed investment will benefit patients by improving ‘quality, safety and effectiveness of acute inpatient care for adults with mental health problems’.
“This new unit will give patients who access mental health services a sense of dignity and safety and I am pleased the Welsh Government funding has made it possible,” said Mr Drakeford.
It is anticipated the new unit’s proximity to the main hospital will provide crucial links with related specialities including mental health services for older people, neuro-rehabilitation and neuropsychiatry.
To aid social integration and reduce stigmatisation, a plaza or concourse area will also be incorporated, giving patients access to cafes and shops like a newsagent and post office, similar to facilities at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.
The scheme includes improved access to specialist mental health support, gender specific accommodation, and physical healthcare, including diagnostics.
The design will meet expectations for privacy and safety, said a spokesperson for the health and social services department of the Welsh Government.
“The safety, dignity and privacy of service users were instrumental in the design brief," said the spokesperson.
“The unit will have single bedrooms with en suite facilities and flexible ward design to respond to the needs of service users, including access to single sex sitting rooms and bedroom areas, garden areas and therapeutic space.”
When the scheme was first proposed in 2010 health board planning director Paul Hollard said the aim was to give Llandough ‘a particular identity’: “One of excellent care that focuses on recovery and rehabilitation and that consolidates mental health services on one site," said Mr Hollard.
Helen Bennett, clinical board nurse for mental health welcomed the funding grant.
"This much needed investment will allow Cardiff & Vale UHB and the Mental Health Clinical Board to continue its work to provide improved adult mental health services," she said.
“The principles of recovery have been central to the planning of the new unit and service user engagement in the process has ensured that a variety of flexible spaces will be provided to facilitate social, recreational and therapeutic activities. In addition to the 135 in patient beds, there will be multi use games area, gym, activities of daily living kitchens, meeting rooms, fitness rooms and relaxation space.
“Each clinical area has a garden and there is a central courtyard. Visitor areas have been designed to promote safe visiting and also ensure the privacy and dignity of service users.
"Participation of service users in the development of the new unit is vitally important in making sure that it provides a good service user and carer experience, is safe and supports their recovery.
“The decision to build the unit on the UHL site will assist in tackling stigma and discrimination often experienced by mental health service users."
Peter Welsh, general manager for UHL, said: “There millions of pounds has been invested in the hospital in recent years. The work to create the new Adult Mental Health Unit will be a great benefit for mental health care in Cardiff and the Vale and the scheme will also boost the services the hospital is able to provide with space created for a new plaza area with a shop and cafe for patients and visitors.”