WORK is underway on a £4.7 million development to extend the Bluestone Unit at Craigavon Area Hospital which will see an enhancement of patient facilities to those with a mental health illness and learning disability.
A new 10-bed Adult Learning Disability Assessment and 10-bed Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit will complement the current 74 beds at the Bluestone Unit.
The Unit provides a therapeutic patient-centred recovery model for people most in need of in-patient services.
Francis Rice, Director of Mental Health and Disability Services at the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, says: “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.”
The first phase of the project will involve work to car parks surrounding the current site.
The car park to the rear of the Bluestone site 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.
Mr Rice adds: “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 been made to keep these to a minimum and we thank the public for their patience during the work.
“The development programme will last 16 months but services will continue to operate as normal.”
The design team appointed to the 1824m2 project is Milligan Reside Larkin Chartered Architects and Farrans Construction is the appointed contractor.
The work is due to be completed by June 2014.