Tawel Fan: Troubled ward could be demolished in revamp

Tawel Fan is part of the Ablett unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital
Image caption Tawel Fan is part of the Ablett unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan

A dementia ward subject to investigations into alleged patient abuse could soon be demolished.

Ysbyty Glan Clwyd's Tawel Fan shut in 2013 amid mistreatment allegations, with two probes following.

It could now be knocked down as part of a planned £25m revamp of inpatient mental health services in north Wales.

The local health board wants to redevelop Ysbyty Glan Clwyd's Ablett Unit to create wards that are "fit for purpose, safe and humane".

In a report, Ian Howard, assistant director of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said investigations into the Tawel Fan ward had led to "very negative perceptions" of it.

He added: "The reconfiguration of the unit would provide a real opportunity to rebuild confidence and reputation of psychiatric services provided on the Glan Clwyd site."

An investigation by healthcare specialist Donna Ockenden in 2015 heard from one family, who described conditions as like visiting a "zoo" with "animals that have been captured for a long time" left to walk around.

However, another found no evidence of institutional abuse.

A third investigation - into mental health services in north Wales - will begin in the spring.

Image caption Tawel Fan opened in 1995 and had 17 beds before it closed in 2013

Mr Howard described "significant issues" with the current Ablett Unit setup which "hampers the provision of high-quality care".

As well as the closure of Tawel Fan, the Tegid ward for older people was described as "unfit for purpose".

Areas of the Dinas ward were said to be too small with no en-suite bathrooms in the eight-bed Cynnydd ward.

A new strategic outline plan will be discussed on Thursday by health board members.

If given the go-ahead, the Welsh Government is expected to fund the plans.

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