The Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner, today announced that work will soon begin on a new mental health unit that will almost double the number of inpatient mental health beds at Nepean Hospital.
It is part of a $44.3 million State and Federal Government project designed to respond to the considerable increase in demand for mental health services as a result of the growing and ageing population.
“The purpose-built mental health unit at Nepean Hospital will provide the best possible environment for patients, with comfortable and safe facilities,” Mrs Skinner said.
“The mental health unit will be integrated with other hospital services and also include the refurbishment of facilities for community mental health at Penrith and St Marys,” she said.
“The unit will include a dedicated inpatient ward and new facilities for the outpatient day program for people with psychiatric disorders, or with challenging behaviours as a result of dementia or other age-related conditions.”
The Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres, welcomed the announcement as another example of the O’Farrell Government’s commitment to the region.
“This project is part of a major redevelopment at Nepean Hospital. Over the next few years we will be delivering new operating theatres, wards, an expanded intensive care unit, a new oral health centre and extra parking,” Mr Ayres said.
The new three-storey Mental Health Unit to be constructed on Derby Street (opposite the main entrance) will include:
- 20 High Dependency Unit beds for the most at-risk patients;
- 24 acute beds for general psychiatric patients;
- 20 specialist beds for older people;
- Older persons outpatient day program facilities;
- Access Team (mental health assessment and acute care team); and
- Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Team (mental health assessment and consultation to Emergency Department and other wards at Nepean Hospital).
The project is expected to be completed by early 2013.