Source: NW Evening Mail, 8 October 2010
Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the county’s mental health services, yesterday announced the multi-million pound facelift of the Dane Garth site at Furness General Hospital into a state-of-the-art facility.
The centre will include a 20-room in-patient unit, replacing the current dormitory ward, and a dementia assessment unit, which will be transferred from Gill Rise in Ulverston.
Building work could begin by the end of the year and the facility is expected to be completed by 2012.
The trust said the new unit will prevent patients having to travel to Carlisle or further afield for treatment.
Stephen Dalton, chief executive of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This new contemporary development is about supporting people in an environment conducive to their safe return to a supported community.
“It demonstrates that we are fully committed to delivering high-quality environments and it will significantly improve the quality, safety and responsiveness of in-patient services to better cater for clients individual needs.”
Barrow and Furness MP, John Woodcock, said: “This is very positive news. Mental health care has already changed dramatically in recent times and this new facility will help ensure the NHS can deliver a first-class service to the people of South Cumbria.”
Building work will be carried out by local contractors in two phases, starting with the in-patient facility
Carol Warren, ward manager at the Beckside Ward at Dane Garth, said: “We have worked closely with architects and designers on the new plans to ensure it incorporates everything that we need to meet the future demands of modern day mental health care.
“We have visited other units around the country and have been able to draw on the experience of the new psychiatric intensive care unit in Carlisle to incorporate all of the latest design features.
“Research suggests that there are strong links between the quality of the environment and the behaviour of inpatients and this will allow us to work in a different way, challenging traditional cultures and practices.
“We have already been implementing new clinical models by introducing trainee practitioners and using a new ‘patient’s journey’ model to improve the experience of patients but the new environment will facilitate further changes in practice to enhance the care we can offer to our patients.”
First published at 13:06, Friday, 08 October 2010