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92.9fm Regional News

  • Writer's picture92.9fm Newsroom

Location revealed for new Banksia Mental Health facility

The new Banksia Mental Health Facility will be located right next door to the Tamworth Base Hospital and in close proximity to the Emergency room.

The brand new facility will be physically connected to the existing hospital services with plans to integrate mental health with other acute services.

Representatives of the Tamworth Mental Health Carers Support Network were joined by Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson at the new site this morning for the announcement.

Diane Wyatt from the Tamworth Mental Health Carers Support Network said their group is overjoyed by the announcement.

"We hope this new facility can provide a comfortable and safe centre that caters not just for patients but also the people who are caring for them," Ms Wyatt said.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said he can assure the design and planning will be completed in partnership with local stakeholders.

“The design of the unit is being determined in partnership with the community,

patient’s families, carers and staff to ensure it meets the needs of people using the

service," Mr Anderson said.

The new facility will be able to accommodate 30% more patients each year, with beds additional beds for older people.

“We have been working hard on this project for some time, and today’s

announcement of a new, large, modern facility provides the springboard to meet the

demands of mental health care into the future," Mr Anderson said.

Mr Anderson could not confirm a specific dollar amount for the capital works budget however confirmed the planning and design funding will come from the $700 million Statewide Mental Health Infrastructure Program.

"What I have been focused on is that we have the facility that meets the needs of our communities into the future and then we will put a dollar figure against it," Mr Anderson said, "Rather than building a brand new facility to a specific dollar figure and it doesn't end up the way you want it."

Ms Wyatt said her group is pleased the location is connected with the hospital.

"We think it's important to integrate all types of health care with mental health care," Ms Wyatt said.

The Rotary Lodge carer accommodation units currently stand on the preferred site

for the new mental health unit and will be removed to allow construction of the new Banksia facility to go ahead.

The Local Health District has discussed the plan in detail with Rotary representatives

and has committed to building or refurbishing new, modern carer accommodation on

the hospital site to replace the accommodation donated by Rotary and the wider

community many years ago.


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