Grangewood: New mental health crisis unit opens in Londonderry

The new facility will provide a "24-hour, seven days a week crisis response and home treatment service"

A new, purpose-built mental health 'crisis unit' in Londonderry has been officially opened by Health Minister Edwin Poots.

Grangewood has been built at a cost of £10.8m at Clooney Road in the city.

The new unit will provide acute mental health care for in-patients. It has 30 ensuite bedrooms, six of which are psychiatric intensive care beds.

The Department of Health said it would also provide a 24-hour "crisis response and home treatment service".

Grangewood has been built close to the Gransha Hospital, which dates back to the 1960s, and replaces the services provided by the older facility.

'Positive'

The new unit has been operational since November 2012, but the service has been officially launched by the health minister on Tuesday.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Poots said: "This is a very positive day. The Western Trust are one of the first to open such a facility."

"Mental health care is an illness that has to be treated like any other illness."

Grangewood mental health unit The minister said the new unit would "provide more comfort and dignity"

"We want to treat as many people in the community as possible and where people do need that hospital care it is going to be done in an environment which is pleasing and will assist recovery," Mr Poots added.

'Sanctuary'

The new facility is operated by the Western Health Trust.

The trust's chairman, Gerard Guckian, said the old Gransha admission wards were "no longer fit for purpose".

"This marvellous new facility is one of the most unique, modern and patient-centred facilities now available in Northern Ireland," he said.

"It will provide mental health services for those individuals in crisis and act as a sanctuary conducive to recovery and improvement in mental health and well-being."

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