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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Plans Progress for Young People's National Facility in North Ayrshire

NHS Ayrshire & Arran (NHSAA) has received approval from the SNP Government on its Outline Business Case (OBC) for a new national facility for young people at Ayrshire Central Hospital, Irvine.

The document details plans for the new facility and approval allows the project team to continue onto the next stage of finalising the Full Business Case (FBC). The FBC, required by Scottish Ministers, will go into greater detail on how the new facility will look and how services will be provided. It is anticipated that the FBC will be submitted for final approval in late summer and construction could then start in autumn.

The facility will be a 12-bedded unit for children aged 12 to 17 years who have complex difficulties and need a high level of care. It will provide the first secure adolescent inpatient service for young people in Scotland. The development is a key strand of the SNP Government’s Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027.

The purpose-built facility means that children will be cared for nearer to home and receive appropriate care, treatment, therapies, security and on-going education.

Stephen Brown, Director for North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, which provides community based services; Health & Community Care, Children, Families & Justice, Mental Health Services said:

“This is great news. Now that we have approval for our OBC we can get on with finishing our FBC, taking us the closer to starting construction and being able to provide first-class services in an outstanding building.

“Currently, there are no facilities in Scotland to care for this most challenging and vulnerable group of patients. This means that children are referred to secure adolescent mental health facilities in England, or in some cases, the child may be cared for in an adult inpatient setting. This places significant additional pressure and stress on the child, as well as their families.

“This service will improve outcomes for young people who are seriously unwell and pose a risk to themselves. It offers complex mental health care and support services within an appropriate environment in Scotland. The unit will also provide a 21st century environment that will meet the needs and aspirations of the young people affected, as well as their families and carers.”

Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:

“I commend Stephen Brown and his team for putting together a robust outline for a mental health facility for young people right here in North Ayrshire.

“In line with SNP policy, the SNP Government has included in its 2019/20 Programme for Government the continuation of the its support mental health, with a 24/7 crisis support service for children and young people and their families, a community wellbeing service enabling self-referral for children and young people and a £5 million investment in a community perinatal mental health service across Scotland.

“I am confident that the full business case will be equally robust, convincing, and I look forward to hearing about the success of that next step.”


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