Wrexham Maelor mental health units plan gets Assembly go-ahead

Mental health organisations in North Wales are celebrating this week following the announcement that £21m will be made available by the Welsh Assembly Government to fund two new state-of-the art acute psychiatric facilities at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

The hospital’s current mental health ward at Llwyn y Groes will be extensively upgraded into a 44-bed unit which will be linked to a brand new 28-bed elderly mental health unit, which will include an innovative activity centre and a range of therapeutic services.

The existing buildings were identified as no longer being fit for their purpose in an external review of North East Wales NHS Trust mental health services carried out five years ago.

Since then, the Assembly Government has been working with a number of Welsh mental health organisations and patient groups to shape a new set of facilities fit for the 21st century.

Among those involved in planning the new units was mental health charity Hafal, which was especially active in representing the views of carers. These views are reflected in a number of features incorporated into the design of the new units, including a family room and a safe outdoor play area for children.

Health Minister Edwina Hart AM said: “With an increasingly ageing population in Wales, improvements in mental health services are key to providing better care for the future, as we pledged in our One Wales commitments.

“The development of elderly mental health services has been identified as a priority by the Trust and, together with the improvements in community services being delivered, will mean better quality of care for patients in north east Wales.”