THE first phase of a new £10.4 million hospital development in Scarborough is now complete.
Cross Lane Hospital is preparing for its first patients to move into the new specialist mental health unit for older people in the next few days.
The new accommodation replaces the outdated Rowan Lea building and has 20 single, en-suite bedrooms with the facility to offer four patients day treatment.
The next phase of the development will include an extensive refurbishment of the Ayckbourn Unit, an inpatient facility for working age adults and is due to be completed in 2012.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Neil Mayfield, who is also Cross Lane’s associate clinical director, said: “I’m very impressed with the quality of the buildings - they’re very much state of the art.
“They represent a multi-million pound investment in mental health services in Scarborough, which is fantastic.”
He explained that the new accommodation has been designed from the perspective of what it is like to be a patient.
There is also office and clinic space for community staff, which will help integrate ward and community services.
Dr Mayfield said: “A lot of thought has gone into it. They’re light, airy and all the rooms are ensuite.
“I think it will much improve the experience of being a patient. It’s well established that the quality of environment can affect people’s outcomes.”
He added that he believes it will create a better experience for carers visiting the ward and also for staff, saying: “I hope people will notice a massive difference in the environment.
“Staff are particularly delighted to see such an investment in mental health, which has in the past been seen as a poor relation.”
The ward will be up and running shortly, with staff and dementia patients moving in from Rowan Lea ward. The building work has been carried out by Kier Northern under the direction of Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.