First minister opens new mental health facility for the elderly

First Minister Rhodri Morgan opened a new mental health unit for the elderly in Cardiff this week.

The Iorwerth Jones Centre – a former residential home in Llanishen – has been re-developed into a modern treatment facility, following 3 million pounds of funding from the Welsh Assembly Government.

On opening the centre the First Minister said: “I am so proud to be here today because I got to know Iorwerth Jones very well forty years ago, when I became active in public life in Wales. He was an outstanding councillor with a strong commitment to social services. This investment in the treatment of older people with mental health problems in the south Wales area is a very fitting way of celebrating and remembering his commitment.”

Three wards from Whitchurch Hospital are transferring over to this new centre which will provide 45 much needed in-patient beds for some of our most vulnerable citizens.

“We cannot over-estimate the importance of ensuring the provision of safe and therapeutic in-patient environments, ” added Mr Morgan. “I believe this centre is an excellent example of such a facility.”

The opening of the new Iorweth Jones Centre is part of the overall plan for the future of mental health services in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, which also includes the closure of Whitchurch Hospital.

Work approved to pave the way for new children’s mental health unit in South Wales

A plan to improve car parking and access at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, as a first step towards the creation of a new child and adolescent mental health unit at the hospital, has been approved by Health Minister Edwina Hart.

The £10million development will also enable children’s services to be re-located adjacent to the proposed new unit which will provide this vital service for the whole of South Wales.

Plans for the new unit, expected to cost £22m, are currently being finalised by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust for the Health Minister’s approval.

Both developments are being funded by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Mrs Hart said: “Children and young people need access to dedicated specialist mental health services. I am pleased to be able to provide this significant funding to enable the infrastructure work to get under way so that work can begin on the new unit as soon as possible once the final business case has been approved.

“The unit, which will provide a 24-hour, seven-day service, will have a 14-bed planned treatment ward and a five-bed emergency and high-dependency ward, and help children and young people who are experiencing complex mental health problems such as eating disorders, mood disorders and self-harm.

“The new unit is based in Bridgend due to its central location in South Wales. It will greatly enhance the care on offer to young people in the area.”

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust expects to submit its final business case for the development to the Health Minister in the New Year.