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New mental health units get go-ahead

Two new mental health units at Wrexham Maelor Hospital have been given the green light by Health Minister Edwina Hart.

The Welsh Assembly Government is providing £21.3m funding for the two developments.

The redevelopment of the current mental health unit – Llwyn y Groes – will provide a 44-bed unit on the Wrexham Maelor site, creating a more therapeutic environment for patients in North East Wales.

Linked to this site will be a new 28-bed elderly mental health unit which will provide modern, state-of-the-art services such as an activity centre, including therapeutic and activity areas and accommodation supporting hospital memory services and liaison services

The linking of the units will create an integrated facility with shared physical infrastructure and allow clinical cross over.

The units are expected to be up and running by Spring 2010.

Edwina Hart 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.”

Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Tony Jewell added: “Mental health services are a priority for the Assembly Government. A revised Mental Health National Services Framework (NSF) was launched in October 2005, backed by an extra £5million a year, to help improve mental health services across Wales. This development will further improve services for patients in the north east of the country.”

The Welsh Assembly Government