Plans for a new mental health facility based at Ayrshire Central Hospital in Irvine have entered the pre-planning consultation phase.
As previously reported by the3towns, NHS Ayrshire & Arran has identified the North Ayrshire site as providing the best location for a county-wide adult mental health inpatient facility. Subject to approval from Scottish Government, the local Health Board plans a new-build, two-storey unit providing 206 beds for “people who need a level of care and rehabilitation that can only be provided by a stay in hospital”. The 16,600m2 building would be constructed on land within the boundary of the existing Ayrshire Central Hospital.
According to NHS Ayrshire & Arran, the new facility would include beds for adult acute mental health patients; mental health and addiction rehabilitation; elderly mental health patients; long-term care for older people; rehabilitation for older people; and additional outpatient clinics and treatments.
Jim Crichton, Director of Primary Care and Mental Health Services, said, “These are exciting times for mental health and community services in Ayrshire and Arran. We are at the stage where we are looking at the design of the new building to ensure that it will meet the needs of both mental health service users and the surrounding community - now and well into the future.”
On the consultation phase, Mr Crichton said, “We are asking people to tell us their views on the new building, so that we can proceed with applying for planning permission - which will take us one step closer to providing outstanding facilities.”
The Health Board has arranged two ‘open events’ where local people are invited to go along to ask questions and offer opinions in relation to the proposal. Both will take place in the Recreation Hall at Ayrshire Central Hospital in Irvine. The first, on Wednesday, May 30 will be from 7.00pm until 9.00pm, with the second running between 2.00pm and 5.00pm on Friday, June 1.
NHS Ayrshire & Arran can also be contacted on this issue by writing, free-of-charge, to: Freepost RSXC-XULE-BCAU, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, NACH Programme Office, 23 Lister Street, University Hospital Crosshouse, Kilmarnock KA2 0BB. Alternatively, calls can be made to 0800 169 1441, which is also free-of-charge, or by e-mailing NACH@aapct.scot.nhs.uk
Closing date for responses to the consultation is Friday, August 3 2012, and the Health Board stresses that comments should be sent directly to NHS Ayrshire & Arran, not to the planning authority, North Ayrshire Council. A further opportunity to comment will be available as part of any North Ayrshire Council planning application process.