Have your say on plans for new 63-bed Ablett Unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital

PLANS have gone on display for a new 63-bed mental health unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) has continued work with partners, BAM Construction and Gleeds, on the development of the new unit.

The new facility, to be built at the rear of the hospital and on the current pathology carpark, will replace the care currently provided at the hospital’s Ablett Unit which is deemed ‘no longer fit for purpose’.

The unit will provide acute inpatient mental health care to adults from Conwy, Denbighshire and parts of Flintshire and a new Dementia Assessment Unit is being introduced, incorporating the latest evidence on dementia supportive environments. This will replace the service currently provided at the Bryn Hesketh Unit in Colwyn Bay.

It will also feature a dedicated crisis assessment area.

A total of 350 parking spaces will be displaced when the unit is built on the pathology carpark. To maintain parking numbers, the health board plans to build a multi-storey car park North East of the Glan Clwyd site. This will provide 601 internal and 128 external spaces.

The public are being invited to have their say on proposals before they are submitted to Denbighshire County Council in October.

North Wales Chronicle:

Existing Ablett Unit. Picture: Design and Access statement

Jill Timmins, programme director for the Ablett Unit Redevelopment, said: “Over the past 12 months we have conducted significant engagement with people who use our services, their loved ones, our own staff and those from partner organisations to help inform these exciting plans. This is a new chapter for mental health care in central North Wales and we want local people to have a sense of pride in the building and the care that is delivered from it.

“Our ambition is to deliver a mental health unit which is fit for the future and provides local people with the very best environment to support their ongoing recovery.”

North Wales Chronicle:

Illustrative main entrance views. Picture: Design and Access Statement

The building will be modern in look and will house more mental health beds and significantly improved facilities for both staff and patients including two adult acute wards; older persons functional ward; older persons organic ward; therapies; administrative and staff spaces; pharmacy and an electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) suite.

It will be built to highest energy efficiency standards and will help support the Welsh Government’s response to the climate emergency.

North Wales Chronicle:

Illustrative Main Entrance Views. Picture: Design and Access Statement

Peter Williams from Caniad, mental health service user and carers involvement organisation, said: “Caniad service users and carers have been actively involved in the design process for the new building and we are all very excited about the benefits the new unit will deliver for patients and staff.”

Under the proposals, which are subject to planning permission from Denbighshire County Council and funding approval from the Welsh Government, the new building will be completed by 2024 and will cost an estimated £64m.

As part of multi-storey car park plans, BCUHB is exploring the possibility of introducing electric vehicle charging points.

Earlier this month the Journal reported proposals had been submitted for a new staff car park at Glan Clwyd Hospital.

Visit bcuhb.nhs.wales/news/updates-and-developments/developments/ablett-unit-redevelopment-glan-clwyd-hospital to see the plans.

People are encouraged to send feedback in via email, or by completing the online survey before September 20.

North Wales Chronicle | Anglesey