THERE was cause for celebration at Stracathro recently when a new £20 million mental health facility officially opened its doors.
Sandy Watson, NHS Tayside chairman, welcomed guests to the Susan Carnegie Centre before a presentation by clinical team managers, Mandy Warden and Alison McGurk, about the journey of transferring services from Sunnyside Royal Hospital to the new build.
Eleanor Trebilcock and Gary Cavanagh of Augment and Pat Brodlie of Alzheimers Scotland talked about their involvement with the development of the centre before unveiling the official plaque.
The Susan Carnegie Centre provides accommodation for up to 52 inpatients, including 25 General Adult Psychiatry beds and 27 Psychiatry of Old Age beds, as well as day services for older people. The centre, on which construction began in 2010, houses medical staff, occupational therapy, social therapy, older people’s psychology and the dementia liaison team, and includes a gym and a spirituality room.
Mr Watson accepted the keys to the development in November 2011 and patients and staff transferred from Sunnyside a month later following a comprehensive cleaning, equipping and inspection programme.
Following consultation with staff, service users and carers, the wards have been named after Scottish trees: the Mulberry, Rowan and Willow Units. Each ward has one or two large internal courtyards to allow patients to spend time outdoors in a safe and secure environment.
Mr Watson said: “The development of these fantastic new facilities, whose design has had so much input from so many people with a real involvement in the Centre, underlines NHS Tayside’s commitment to the care of patients with mental health problems.
“I have no doubt that this Centre, along with the project at Murray Royal in Perth which is due for completion this summer, will provide the people of Tayside with mental health facilities fit for the 21st century.”
The new development at Stracathro has replaced the facilities at Sunnyside Royal Hospital in Montrose and, along with the development at Murray Royal Hospital in Perth, is part of a £95 million project to provide state-of-the-art facilities for adult and older inpatients, out-patients and day patients from across Tayside.
The project also includes a new medium secure care clinic at Murray Royal, which is a jointly funded venture with Grampian, Highland, Orkney and Shetland NHS Boards.
To mark the closure of Sunnyside Royal Hospital, NHS Tayside held a series of events last year.