WORK to create a new specialist mental health unit for children and adolescents has got under way near Totton.
The new state-of-the-art facility at Tatchbury Mount in Calmore will be a low secure hospital with occupational therapy facilities such as art rooms, a gym and 14 individual bedrooms.
The site’s former Woodhaven unit, which was a low secure facility for adults with learning disabilities, was closed in 2012 by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, which is responsible for providing health services locally. This will be redesigned to create the new facility.
The trust’s chief executive, Dr Nick Broughton, said: “I’m really excited about the start of this work. The new unit will help to meet the national shortage of beds for young people with special mental health needs.
“It will mean that patients living in the south of the country will be able to be treated closer to home, preventing them having to travel long distances to receive the care they need.”
A brand new bespoke 10-bedroom low secure learning disability unit is also being built on the main Tatchbury Mount site, which replaces unused office buildings.
Dr Broughton added: “We are working closely with service users and their families / carers on the interiors of the buildings to ensure they provide the best therapeutic environment for recovery.”
Following consultation with local communities, staff, services users and relatives, planning permission was submitted and subsequently granted in November.
The work will be carried out by construction company Kier, and the unit for children and adolescents is due to open in September 2019. The new residential unit for people with learning disabilities is expected to be ready in January 2020.