Posted: Tue 7th Feb 2023

Public invited to have their say on plans for ‘world class’ mental health unit in North Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 7th, 2023

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Plans for a ‘world class’ inpatient mental health unit and multi-storey car park at Glan Clwyd Hospital have gone on display to the public.

People are invited to share their feedback on Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s plans for the new 63-bed unit and multi-storey car park before a full planning application is submitted to Denbighshire County Council in March.

The new unit, which could cost up to £84.5m, will replace the hospital’s Ablett Unit and the older people’s mental health inpatient facility at Bryn Hesketh, Colwyn Bay.

The plans have been developed following comprehensive engagement with patients, carers, staff, partner organisations and the wider public.

Situated at the rear of the hospital site, it will deliver more beds and significantly improved facilities for both staff and patients.

The Health Board’s plans include a 14 bed older person’s mental health ward and a 13-bed dementia care assessment unit with en-suite facilities and provision for families and carers to stay with their loved ones overnight.

There will also be two purpose-built 16-bed adult wards complete with de-stimulation areas, which will provide a safe nursing environment for high acuity patients, preventing the need for transfer to other mental health units.

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

Built to the highest energy efficiency standards – the development will help support the Welsh Government’s response to the climate emergency.

In 2021, an application for Outline Planning Permission on a site to the south-west of the hospital’s grounds was rejected by Denbighshire County Council’s Planning Committee, who cited an unacceptable impact on local residents.

Having acted on these concerns, the Health Board’s new site is within the footprint of car park 5 at the rear of the hospital, far away from local residents’ boundaries.

A first-floor deck will be built over car park 3, at the front of the hospital, complete with electric vehicle charging points, in order to re-provide the car parking spaces lost when the new mental health unit is built.

Other options to improve how staff, patients and visitors access the hospital site are also being explored, including the reintroduction of the Park and Ride scheme, if suitable off-site parking can be secured.

As part of ongoing efforts to reduce the carbon impact of its activities, the Health Board is also exploring how to make greater use of cycle to work and car share options, public and community transport schemes, agile and home working, and increased use of video and online technology for remote consultations, where appropriate

Teresa Owen, Executive Director responsible for BCUHB’s Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Division, said:

“Our aspiration is to deliver a world class facility that enables our hard working staff to deliver the highest standards of care that our patients deserve in a modern, fit-for-purpose environment.

“We’re keen to hear people’s feedback and I encourage them to visit the Health Board website or attend our drop in session to view the plans and let us know what they think.”

In October 2022, the Welsh Government approved BCUHB’s Outline Business Case for the development.

Subject to further approval from Denbighshire County Council’s Planning Committee, the BCUHB Board, and Welsh Government, work on site should commence in the summer of 2024, with the building accepting its first patients in the summer of 2026.

The plans are available to view on the BCUHB website. People are encouraged to send feedback in via email, or by completing the online survey by March 5th.

A drop in event will be held at the Faenol Fawr Hotel on 27th February, between 2-8pm, where members of the public can come and view the plans and chat to those involved in developing them.

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