Health Minister opens new children’s mental health unit

A new mental health unit for children and young people in north Wales has been opened by Health and Social Services Minister Edwina Hart.

The £15 million Assembly Government-funded, purpose-built unit has been developed on the site of Abergele Hospital due to its central location in Conwy, north Wales.

The unit will provide a seven-day service with 24-hour emergency cover and will increase the number of child and adolescent mental health beds in north Wales to 18, including a six-bed emergency or high dependency ward and a 12-bed planned treatment ward.

The new facility will provide help and support for children and young people in north Wales who are experiencing complex mental health problems such as severe eating disorders, mood disorders and self-harm. The buildings have been designed specifically for young patients, many of whom have contributed to the planning process.

This investment complements plans to enhance Child and Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient Services in south Wales with a new £26 million centre in the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend. An additional £25 million of funding for new adult and elderly mental health units at Wrexham Maelor Hospital has also been made available.

Edwina Hart said: “The new facilities will greatly improve the specialist care on offer locally to children and young people experiencing mental health problems.

“This is part of a wider commitment to mental health, with new facilities for young people in south Wales and additional mental health units for adults in north Wales due to be completed over the next two years.

“I am determined to further improve services across Wales by increasing the capacity to deal with mental health issues and by raising the profile of mental health services within the NHS.”