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  • State-of-the-art plans revealed for new mental health hospital

    Malcolm Hindle

    A NEW mental health hospital has been earmarked to be built to serve Formby and Southport.

    The Hesketh Centre, based in Southport, currently serves the mental health needs of patients across the two towns, but bosses at the Mersey Care NHS Foundation say that it is time to complete a ‘total overhaul and upgrade of services.’

    They want to build a ‘super centre’ at the site of the former Southport Hospital on Scarisbrick New Road.

    Formby residents have now been invited to share their views at public consultation events where proposals for the state-of-the-art facility will be revealed.

    The NHS Trust is proposing to rebuild its existing mental health unit on the former infirmary site, and once complete will move all services there from the Hesketh Centre, Albert Road, by 2019.

    The proposals will ensure the Southport and Formby areas have modern, fit for purpose inpatient mental health care integrated with outpatient services and community teams on one site.

    A Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said: “Mersey Care has ambitions to build two further hospitals like the recently opened Clock View centre, Walton, in Southport and Liverpool.

    “The Southport redevelopment will provide all of the beds we currently offer at the inpatient wards at the Boothroyd Unit and Hesketh Centre. Importantly it will provide all inpatients with their own individual en suite rooms to promote privacy and dignity. Therapy areas and access to safe inner courtyard gardens will help people’s recovery.

    “We are continuing to work with local authorities to try and convert our proposals into designs and plans we can share with all our stakeholders.”

    Mental health champion Councillor Paul Cummins said: “This is about improving mental health services for the people of Southport and Formby and I would urge local people to come along to the consultation sessions to find out more and give their views.”

    Two public consultations will take place. The first being held on Tuesday December 13 from 10am at the Hesketh Centre in Albert Road, while the second will be held on December 14 at the Boothroyd Unit on Scarisbrick New Road from the same time.

    Southport MP and former Mental health nurse, John Pugh, said: “This is clearly a welcome, needed and major development.

    “Hopefully we can now address the worrying waiting times for psychiatric treatment. My only caution is to point out that this is the second time I have seen plans for this site involving new mental health provision so though I welcome the plans, I will welcome the sight of construction even more.”

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