Construction begins on new 50 bed Mental Health In-Patient Unit at CUH

A ceremony to mark the commencement of a new 50-bed acute adult mental health in-patient unit on the Cork University Hospital (CUH) campus took place on Monday.

The sod turning ceremony, performed by Kathleen Lynch TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Mental Health, marks the commencement of the new €15m unit that will replace the existing 46 bed unit on the hospital campus.

Developed in line with the requirements of A Vision for Change, the new purpose built in-patient unit will provide accommodation for patients with a mentalillnessrequiring mental health assessment, treatment and rehabilitation. The unit will provide a better environment for patients and will have an increased number of single rooms and therapy rooms. It will include two 18-bed wards (all single en-suite rooms), a six-bed assessment/high observation ward, and an older person eight-bed ward, also with single rooms. The facility is also configured to be capable of providing a service to mother and infants in partnership with other services on site.

Dr. Eamonn Moloney, Executive Clinical Director, HSE Cork South Mental Health Services said, “This investment in our mental health services is most welcome. The new Unit will provide a much enhanced therapeutic environment for our patients and will enable us to cater specifically for client groups with particular requirements including older people. The new Unit is very much a positive step forward and something that is welcomed by all staff working in the service.”

Mr. Pat Healy, Regional Director of Operations, HSE South said, “A key priority for the HSE South has been to reconfigure acute inpatient services in line with the recommendations of A Vision for Change. This unit has been designed in accordance with the principals of the mental health policy document and marks a significant milestone, and investment, in the development of mental health services in Cork.”

The unit will be located in the north-west corner of the Cork University Hospital campus and will also have clinical/therapy facilities and associated office accommodation. Outpatient facilities will continue to be provided in the main CUH Outpatient Department and in the local community.

It is envisaged that the entire construction project will be completed within 15 to 18 months.