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New north Wales mental health unit plan moves a step closer

10 Oct 2022 3 minute read
CGI image of proposed new mental health unit at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

Outline plans to build a new mental health unit in north Wales have been approved by Health Minister Eluned Morgan.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board plan for the new unit to replace the Ablett Unit at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and the Older People’s Mental Health inpatient facility at Bryn Hesketh.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan has approved the health board’s outline business case to develop plans at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

Speaking on World Mental Health Day, Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “It is vital that there are fit-for-purpose mental health facilities across Wales that will deliver high quality care for people who need urgent help during crises.

“These new plans will help to improve the working environment for staff, reduce maintenance costs and provide patients and their families with the dignity and space they need to recover.

“Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is subject to considerable scrutiny for mental health after being placed in Targeted Intervention by the Welsh Government. I am therefore pleased to see ambitious and much needed plans such as these move one step closer.”

Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing Lynne Neagle said: “I regularly meet with representatives from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to discuss their progress in improving mental health services across north Wales and I am pleased to see they are making plans to upgrade their services and enhance the patient experience.

“New facilities such as these will help the health board build on the progress they have made by creating capacity for the future and allowing staff to deliver the best possible care for their patients.”

Teresa Owen, Executive Director responsible for BCUHB’s Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Division, said: “This news will be welcomed by the many patients, carers, staff and partner organisations who have helped to shape these ambitious proposals. It represents a significant step forward in our improvement journey, as we work towards delivering a mental health unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital that is fit-for-purpose, enabling our hard-working staff to deliver the very best care that our patients deserve.

“Work will now begin in earnest to complete a detailed and fully costed full business case. We look forward to sharing our proposals with Welsh Government and the many other stakeholders with an interest in this much-needed development.”

Business case

A full business case will now be submitted by the health board which will be subject to further scrutiny and if agreed, the project could commence in 2024.

The plans include a 14-bed older persons mental health ward with en-suite facilities, recreational spaces and improved observation and a 13-bed dementia care assessment unit with an end-of-life bedroom. This will include provision for families and carers to stay with their loved ones overnight, a secure courtyard, en-suite facilities to all bedrooms, recreational and therapy spaces and improved visibility.

There will also be two purpose-built 16-bed adult wards with a de-stimulation area on each ward, which will provide a safe nursing environment for high acuity patients.

An assessment suite to enable suitable patients to be moved from the Emergency Department in a timely manner is included as is more outdoor and therapeutic space and better staff and family facilities.

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