Posted: Mon 6th Feb 2023

Plans revealed for ‘world class’ Denbighshire mental health unit which could cost £84.5m

North Wales news and information

Plans for a “world class” mental health unit at a Denbighshire hospital have gone on display to the public. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) has revealed proposals for a new 63-bed inpatient unit and multi-storey car park at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

The new unit, which could cost up to £84.5m, will replace the hospital’s Ablett Unit and an older people’s mental health facility at Bryn Hesketh, Colwyn Bay. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Located at the back of the hospital site, the health board said it would result in extra beds being created and improved facilities for staff and patients. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Officials are seeking feedback before submitting a planning application to Denbighshire County Council in March. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Teresa Owen, Betsi’s executive director responsible for mental health, said: “Our aspiration is to deliver a world class facility that enables our hard working staff to deliver the highest standards of care that our patients deserve in a modern, fit-for-purpose environment. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

“We’re keen to hear people’s feedback and I encourage them to visit the health board website or attend our drop in event to view the plans and let us know what they think.” ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

The scheme includes a 14-bed older person’s mental health ward, a 13-bed dementia care assessment unit and space for families and carers to stay overnight. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

There will also be two 16-bed adult wards with “de-stimulation areas” to provide a safe environment for high acuity patients and prevent the need to transfer them to other units. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

An assessment area is also included to enable patients to be moved from the emergency department, as well as outdoor and therapeutic space. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

In 2021, an application to build a mental health unit on a different part of the site was rejected by Denbighshire’s planning committee as councillors said it would have an unacceptable impact on local residents. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

To address the concerns, the proposed site has been relocated to an area within a car park at the back of the hospital. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Under the plans, a first-floor deck will be built over another car park at the front of the site, along with electric vehicle charging points, to replace any lost parking spaces. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Other options are being explored to improve access to the site, including the reintroduction of a park and ride scheme, if a suitable location can be found. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

The Welsh Government approved the health board’s outline business case for the development in October 2022. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Subject to further approval from the local authority, BCUHB’s board, and the devolved government, work is expected to start in the summer of 2024, with the first patients being accepted around two years later. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Plans are available to view on the health board’s website. People are encouraged to send feedback either via email, or by completing an online survey, by March 5th. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

A drop-in event will be held at the Faenol Fawr Hotel in Bodelwyddan on February 27th, between 2-8pm, to allow people to view the plans and talk to those involved. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

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