New £7m unit at Calderstones in Whalley is mental health boost

Lancashire Telegraph: Trust chairman Rupert Nichols, left, and chief executive Mark Hindle test out the gym facilities Trust chairman Rupert Nichols, left, and chief executive Mark Hindle test out the gym facilities

A NEW £7 million mental health unit opened at the Calderstones Hospital site in Whalley yesterday.

The low-secure facility will house 32 patients and replace some of the institutional-type buildings which have dominated the grounds for several decades.

Bosses hope that it will also cement Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as the leading provider of learning disability services in the North West.

The ‘Maplewood 2’ building, which includes individual apartments, lounges, a faith room, kitchens and gym facilities, will also help the trust meet essential standards set by regulators after concerns were flagged up about the old buildings.

Chairman Rupert Nichols said the facility represents a ‘major new chapter’ for the trust while governor and Whalley councillor Joyce Holgate said: “This is a wonderful example of how we support vulnerable people and ensure they make good progress.”

Families, carers and commissioners joined patients and board members for a tour of the building, though an official opening ceremony will be staged in the new year.

Dozens of patients were presented with certificates for vocational and practical courses they have been taking in conjunction Accrington and Rossendale College.

Many of Calderstone’s 220 residents have been referred by the justice system, for staff to help support them back into the community where possible.

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.

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