WORK has started on a £4.7 million extension to the Bluestone Unit at Craigavon Area Hospital which will provide more beds for patients with a mental health illness and learning disability.
A new 10-bed adult learning disability assessment unit and 10-bed psychiatric intensive care unit, comprising 1,824 sq m, will be built to complement the current 74-bed facility.
The extension will provide a therapeutic, patient-centred recovery model for people most in need of inpatient services.
The first phase will involve works to car parks surrounding the current site. The car park to the rear of the Bluestone Unit will be extended and a further car park will be created adjacent to the main entrance of the building to provide spaces displaced due to building works.
Francis Rice, director of mental health and disability services at the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, said, “I am delighted that work is starting on this exciting development at Craigavon Area Hospital. Patients will experience an enhanced therapeutic environment in a secure setting and will have access to single en-suite rooms and internal courtyard spaces.
“The new facilities will be suitably designed to provide privacy and dignity to both patients and visitors alike.”
He added, “As with any building project, it is expected there will be some level of potential disruption for patients, visitors and staff but every effort has made to keep these to a minimum and we thank the public for their patience during the work.”
The work is due to be completed by June 2014 but services will continue to operate as normal.
The design team appointed to the project is Milligan Reside Larkin Chartered Architects and Farrans Construction is the contractor.