Construction has begun on two new mental health facilities in Dorset, signaling a significant step forward in the region’s healthcare services. These facilities include an eight-bed psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) for children and young people in Bournemouth, as well as a replacement adult PICU at St Ann’s Hospital in Poole. The main objective of these units is to provide care for seriously ill individuals in close proximity to their loved ones, eliminating the need for patients to travel long distances for specialized treatment. With a construction cost exceeding £70 million, these projects are part of the government’s New Hospitals Programme and are expected to be completed by 2026.
One of the pressing issues faced by young people in Dorset is the lack of accessible mental health treatment. Many individuals have to travel long distances to receive appropriate care, which can be both inconvenient and emotionally challenging. The establishment of a dedicated PICU for children and young people aims to address this issue by ensuring that vulnerable individuals receive the care they need in a familiar and supportive environment. Similarly, the replacement adult PICU at St Ann’s Hospital will enhance the quality of care provided to adult patients. The inclusion of individual rooms and a “place of safety” suite for patients detained under the Mental Health Act will create an environment conducive to recovery and well-being.
Matthew Bryant, a representative from Dorset HealthCare, expressed his satisfaction with the progress of these projects. He highlighted the positive impact these facilities will have in reducing the need for out-of-area placements and improving the chances of recovery for patients. The commencement of construction signifies a significant milestone in the realization of these crucial healthcare developments. Full construction is scheduled to begin in early 2024, and it is anticipated that the facilities will be operational by 2026.
The government’s investment in the construction of these mental health facilities underscores its commitment to improving mental healthcare services and addressing the needs of the local community. By providing state-of-the-art facilities in close proximity to patients’ support networks, the well-being and recovery of individuals in need will undoubtedly be positively impacted. With the completion of these projects, Dorset aims to set a standard for mental health care provision, ensuring that individuals receive the support and treatment they require in a compassionate and efficient manner.