£30m Boost For Mental Health Service

Outdated mental health facilities in south Wales are to be replaced after £30m was earmarked for improvements by the assembly government. It will mean new day care centres and continuing care facilities in the Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust area, covering Neath-Port Talbot, Bridgend and the western Vale of Glamorgan. They should be ready by summer 2009.

Historically such services were offered in Victorian buildings at Parc, Penyfai and Glanrhyd hospitals in Bridgend. The trust has in recent years closed Parc and Penyfai hospitals and the number of beds at Glanrhyd hospital has been reduced as part of its plan to introduce community based services.

New facilities will be built at Glanrhyd and in other parts of the area. There will be integrated day services for older people with dementia, rehabilitation provision for adults will be moved to a new facility, and a new development centre. There will also be improvements to the accommodation at Glanrhyd, and accommodation will be provided for community mental health teams.

Health Minister Brian Gibbons said: “Mental health should concern us all because as many as one in four of us will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives,” he said. “Yet, despite this statistic, mental health remains a taboo subject, with many people who have mental illness being subject to prejudice and discrimination.

“This is often caused by fear and ignorance. That is why last year I published a revised national service framework (NSF) and action plan on mental health which aimed to ensure that wherever you are in Wales you receive consistently high-quality mental health services. Key to the action plan and NSF was the requirement to close the large Victorian institutions and replace them with accommodation that is fit for purpose and that there should be a range of facilities that meets the needs of individuals,” he added.

NHS trust chief executive Paul Williams said: “This is excellent news for service users and carer representatives,” he said. “This approval means that the end is in sight for patients no longer being accommodated in Victorian buildings on the Glanrhyd Hospital and also the further provision of services in the community.”