Plans for new health unit

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A NEW £24m centre for mental health will be built in Wigan borough.

The 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is to finance a purpose-built state-of-the-art unit which will replace current facilities on site at The Avenue, Leigh, and house the Trust’s mental health services.

The plans include more inpatient beds and a separate unit for men and women with en-suite facilities. The Trust also hopes to improve the psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) and include a gym for long-term patients.

The new hub will be used by the community and will include other mental health service providers and charities.

Simon Barber, chief executive of the Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to explore this exciting new development opportunity.

“The environment in which people receive treatment and support is very important to their recovery and overall patient experience.

“We would like it to be a hub for the community and we will provide services for other mental health related community service providers, including charities and third sector housing organisations.

“This will mean people with mental health problems can have the convenience of accessing support in a single location.

“We currently provide inpatient beds, but we will make sure the new unit has sufficient bed provision and we will have separate male and female units.

“At the moment, our facilities do not have individual en-suites, so we want to move away from that and give patients more privacy.

“There is the PICU based at Leigh and we would like to replace that and provide a gym area for those who have a longer length of stay.

“One of the biggest issues with long-term stay is boredom so we will be creating activity spaces that are either gym or art-based.

“This is where the third sector partners will come in, as they can provide stimulating intervention through art and music therapy.”

The scheme is in the initial stages and the Trust is inviting comments from its partners – Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, Wigan Council and GP Commissioners. Members of the public will also have their say.

Once approved, building work could start at the end of next year will a completion date of 2014.