Page last updated at 10:11 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 11:11 UK

Mental health unit moves forward

NHS Lanarkshire sign
The new unit would be built at Wishaw General or Monklands Hospital

Plans for a new medical unit offering acute care for people with mental health problems in Lanarkshire have moved a step forward.

NHS Lanarkshire's board has approved proposals for the mental health campus to be based at Wishaw General or Monklands Hospital.

The 130-bed unit would cater for people aged 16 and over with mental health issues who require a stay in hospital.

It would also treat those with drug and alcohol addictions.

Plans for the development will now be submitted to the Scottish government for final approval.

NHS Lanarkshire said the facility would reduce the need for patients to be referred to other areas or to the independent sector for treatment, and offer 24-hour psychiatric care.

NHS Lanarkshire is also enhancing community mental health services so we provide support closer to people's homes
Colin Sloey
NHS Lanarkshire

Colin Sloey, director of North Lanarkshire Community Health Partnership, said: "We are committed to providing safe and effective in-patient care for a group of patients who are among the most vulnerable in our population.

"This initial agreement is an important step towards our goal to providing a first class care and treatment unit for people who require acute mental health care by 2013, and, where possible, reduce the need for them to be admitted to hospital."

An intensive psychiatric care unit will also form part of the new mental health campus.

The health board said it would involve patients, carers, staff and other stakeholders in the process of looking at the preferred location for the new facility.

This consultation process will begin after the initial agreement has been considered by the Scottish government.



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