Mental healthcare facility rebuild must go ahead

Whitchurch Hospital - New outside
Full-scale models of en-suite rooms planned for the rebuild of Whitchurch Hospital that is due to go in front of the National Assembly Government for approval in a months have been unveiled to the public.

The proposal lays down costs of £118m to completely rebuild the hospital at Whitchurch which has stood for over 100-years. Some of the proposed features include:

  • £68 million to be spent on the Cardiff inpatient hospital
  • Single room en suite accommodation over two floors
  • Access to unspoilt parklands, courtyards and garden areas.

In a press release they say “Whilst the care given currently is of a high standard, the old Whitchurch Hospital is no longer fit for purpose”, which is a statement that I would whole-heartedly agree with.

Anybody who has made a visit to or had a stay at the hospital will be able to tell you that it does feel exactly like the hospital from “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest”. The hallways are gothic, cold and wide open. The wards are barn-like rooms with high ceilings and nothing but a curtain to separate one person from the next, very much like normal hospital wards. A set up that is not typical of, or beneficial to, modern mental health treatment methods. It really isn’t the most therapeutic of places to be, especially when taking into account the condition of the patients who use the service.

I have stated previouslythat provisions for mental healthcare within the NHS do not go far enough and should be given higher priority. This is a golden opportunity for the National Assembly Government to show that they have a commitment mental healthcare and wellbeing services and to bring sites up to standards that would compliment 21st century psychological treatments.

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