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New mental health unit in Whalley is way forward
BUILDING work is nearing completion on a new mental health unit for people with ‘grim pasts’ at the Calderstones site in Whalley.
Bosses said the £7million facility, which will house 32 patients, would be a far cry from the site’s ‘lunatic asylum’ history, when institutional-type buildings dominated the grounds for several decades.
It is hoped the low-secure unit, which will include individual apartments, lounges, a faith room, kitchens and gardens within its perimeter fence, will help to cement the Calderstones NHS Trust as the leading provider of its kind in the North West.
Many of the Calderstone’s 220 residents have been referred by the justice system, for staff to help support them back into the community where possible.
Dignitaries and potential residents were given a tour of the unit on Friday.
It came after chief executive David Young added the final roof tile to the ‘Maplewood 2’ building. Mr Young said: “We’ve got people here with very grim pasts, with serious mental health issues and personality disorders.
“But they all have rights and they deserve the chance to be supported back into the community.
“This unit is built-for-purpose and will massively enhance the quality of life for service users.
“Our staff here are extremely well trained and we help people back into society.
'We have never had an incident where someone who’s been here for quite some time has gone out into the world and re-offended.
“I think this just shows how far things have come.
''Calderstones was founded about 100 years ago.
“And it was basically a lunatic asylum.
“Roll the clock back even 40 years and there were 3,000 people here and they really then were living in an institution.”
The new unit will replace an old nursing hostel at the site, part of which will be refurbished, and part of which will be demolished.
The Whalley site has 70 ‘low-secure’ residents and 50 in medium-secure units.
Another 100 live in step-down accommodation, or in nearby homes, while many have part-time jobs.
Whalley councillor Joyce Holgate is also a trustee of the Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Coun Holgate said: “The place has had to change over the years.
'That’s because the world has changed.
“Higher standards are expected now.
“And we are on the right path to create the right place for the people living here.”
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