Local councillors were briefed this week about plans to build a new state-of-the art £10 million hospital facility at the Gransha site, which patients could get a chance to re-name.
The details were announced as representatives from the Western Health and Social Care Trust made a presentation at the monthly meeting of Derry City Council’s regional services committee held at the Council offices on Tuesday afternoon.
Trevor Miller, the Trust’s director of adult mental health said the new building will be “an absolutely fantastic facility.”
He told councillors it will include two 15 bed units, one for men and another for women, as well as specialised psychiatric intensive care units. Mr Miller said the existing hospital building has been there for almost 50 years and is no longer suitable.
“It is going to be a state-of-the art, absolutely fantastic facility. It is going to transform our service. It will be built as a swing facility so that the psychiatric intensive care unit can be used as part of the hospital if required,” he said.
Mr Miller also told councillors that a Trust wide review of residential day services is being conducted with a view to reducing the number of patients living on Trust property. Mr Miller also said he hopes it will get to the stage where no-one is living in Trust buildings. “We used to have hundreds of people living at the Gransha site and now we are down to 14 individuals on the site,” he said.
He also said that replacements are currently being considered for the replacements of Beech and Cedar Villas.
SDLP Councillor Shaun Gallagher welcomed the plans and said it would improve mental health services in the North West. “This is great news about the new hospital. I would like to congratulate the team about this fantastic initiative,” he said.
Sinn Féin councillor Paul Fleming also welcomed the announcement but questioned whether facilities will be available for anyone under 18 experiencing a mental health crisis. He was told that there is no dedicated service to house under 18s in the Derry area and that if there is a need to admit anyone under the age of 18 then they will be housed in an individual room.
Ulster Unionist Alderman Mary Hamilton asked if a name has been chosen for the new hospital. “There is still a stigma attached to Gransha,” she said. Mr Miller said that patients will be allowed to name the new hospital.