Planning approval to be given for new mental health ward

Image: New Mental Health Unit at Torbay Hospital

Published: 23 May 2020

Torbay Council has confirmed it has agreed for the planning application for a newly built mental health ward at Torbay Hospital to reach approval.

The £11.8 million scheme will create a centre on two floors providing an adult ward with 16 bedrooms, treatment and therapy rooms and offices. The upper ground floor would contain the main public entrance leading to a reception and waiting area, a family visiting room, therapy spaces, offices, and other rooms laid out around a central open courtyard. The lower ground floor would contain the staff entrance leading to staff facilities.

The new unit will be built next to two existing mental health wards on the hospital site – Haytor and Beech. All of the wards are part of Devon Partnership NHS Trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services.

The additional facilities will help tackle the shortage of adult mental health beds in the area, and will reduce the number of people who have to receive their care outside Devon.

Councillor Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “I am really pleased to see that this important development is moving forward as it will provide much needed high quality modern facilities. We know that those who need these services have struggled to be placed locally, and sometimes even placed out of our region. These extra beds are really needed and will make a massive difference to those who need the support of the mental health services in Torbay and South Devon.”

Melanie Walker, Chief Executive of Devon Partnership NHS Trust, comments: “Today’s announcement is great news in terms of the services we are able to offer to local people. As well as providing a safe, high quality environment for our staff and adults with mental health needs who require a stay in hospital, the new ward means that more people can be treated close to home. We know that this is a very important factor in people’s recovery and it means that family and friends do not have the added burden of having to travel long distances to visit their loved one at what can be a very challenging time.

“In the design of new services we always include people who have personal experience of mental health issues – they bring an invaluable perspective and their feedback helps to shape every aspect of the project. They are key members of our Clinical Reference Group for the new ward in Torbay and we are extremely grateful for their support.”

Chief Executive of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Liz Davenport, said: “We are delighted that this much-needed development is going ahead. For health and care services to be truly integrated around individuals’ needs, we must recognise that mental health is an important aspect of overall wellbeing. And, whatever service we work within, we all have a role in supporting people’s mental health needs as well as their physical health.

“We are so pleased that Devon Partnership NHS Trust has been able to secure these resources, and that we have been able to work together to make it happen. It will bring high-quality, purpose-designed adult inpatient mental health services to the heart of our local area. As well as being a real boost to facilities in Devon, it is a great example of partnership working across several NHS and local council services to meet the needs of our communities.”

Full details of the scheme can be viewed by using the Torbay Council Planning Online website and by searching ‘Torbay Hospital’.