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Plans to build a new specialist learning disabilities hospital in Merseyside supported by government funding have been given the green light.
Outline planning permission was approved for a new 40-bed hospital at Maghull Health Park that will provide short- to medium-term care for people with learning disabilities across the region.
“This new hospital represents significant investment that will offer world class care in a therapeutic environment”
The new facility will be a low secure unit on land off Villas Road, which is the community-facing edge of the park owned by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.
It will cater for up to 40 men and women with a diagnosis of learning disability, autism and co-morbid conditions, needing care and treatment in a low secure setting.
Bedrooms with an en-suite bathroom will be available to each patient, as well as a range of activity areas and therapeutic spaces.
Next steps for the new service include agreeing design, layout and building specification in order to obtain detailed planning permission.
The trust will also go through the process to assure NHS England and NHS Improvement that is has a sound business case for the new facility.
The government has committed £33m to the project, subject to necessary approvals.
Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust’s executive director of estates Elaine Darbyshire said: “Maghull has a long and living history of hospitals providing mental health care dating back more than a century, so we’re delighted to be building on that tradition.
“This new hospital represents significant investment of £33m that will offer worl-class care in a therapeutic environment.”
The move will also “enable us to work with sector partners to provide a new model of care for complex patients across the North West”, she added.
“Gaining planning consent is a significant step forward”
Ms Dabyshire said she was grateful to Sefton council and others involved in “enabling us to proceed to the next phase in this exciting new-build programme”.
“Ultimately it will also cement the future of Maghull Health Park as a centre of excellence, as well as help boost the local economy and jobs,” she added.
Under current plans, a construction contract could be signed by late summer 2021, building work started in autumn 2021 and the hospital completed by spring 2023.
A period of testing will then take place before the service becomes fully operational in the summer of 2023.
Medical director for commissioning at NHS England and NHS Improvement North West, Dr Michael Gregory, said: “We have asked Mersey Care to provide a new low secure unit for patients with complex care needs that gives the best modern-day standards of accommodation within a new model of care.
“Gaining planning consent is a significant step forward and once the project has met all of its statutory and regulatory objectives we believe this new facility will promote the delivery of high quality care across a range of secure services we commission that reduces the length of stay for patients.”