Paving The Way For New Children's Mental Health Unit

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A plan to improve car parking and access at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, as a first step towards the creation of a new child and adolescent mental health unit at the hospital, has been approved by Health Minister Edwina Hart.

The £10million development will also enable children's services to be re-located adjacent to the proposed new unit which will provide this vital service for the whole of South Wales.

Plans for the new unit, expected to cost £22m, are currently being finalised by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust for the Health Minister's approval. Both developments are being funded by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Mrs Hart said: "Children and young people need access to dedicated specialist mental health services. I am pleased to be able to provide this significant funding to enable the infrastructure work to get under way so that work can begin on the new unit as soon as possible once the final business case has been approved.

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"The unit, which will provide a 24-hour, seven-day service, will have a 14-bed planned treatment ward and a five-bed emergency and high-dependency ward, and help children and young people who are experiencing complex mental health problems such as eating disorders, mood disorders and self-harm.

"This will greatly enhance the care on offer to young people in South Wales.

"The new unit is based in Bridgend due to its central location in South Wales."

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust expects to submit its final business case for the development to the Health Minister in the New Year.

Win Griffiths, chair of ABM University NHS Trust, said: "It is excellent news to see the important first step of this essential project get underway. Getting the infrastructure in place early will help the unit to be built and up and running as quickly as possible, with all that means for providing a much better service for children and young people."

David Francis, chair of Cwm Taf NHS Trust, added: "This marks a very important step in securing the development of the Specialised Child and Adolescent Unit in Bridgend. I am delighted that plans are progressing well to establish the new service."

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