10:30am Wednesday 16th May 2012
By Lawrence Dunhill
BUILDING work has started on a new ‘state-of-the-art’ mental health unit – which represents one of the biggest capital investments in Bucks in recent years.
More than £40 million has been pumped into the 80-bed unit, which is being built at the old Manor Hospital site in Aylesbury.
The scheme will bring the closure the 44-bed Tindal Centre in Aylesbury, as well as the 38-bed John Hampden Unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust says all the costs have been met through its capital budget, as opposed to the controversial Private Finance Initiative.
Significant funds have been raised through the sale of part of the Manor Hospital site to housing developers.
Bosses say the facility will create more therapy spaces, while merging services on to the same site will mean staff can easily access a wider range of clinicians and professionals.
The design aims to use natural light and ventilation to make it feel spacious and welcoming.
A spokesman for the trust added: "This is an exciting new development for our mental health service users, their families and carers and trust staff.
"Not only does it represent a significant commitment to mental health services in Buckinghamshire, it is also the biggest, single capital investment the trust has made, at just over £40m, and will remain in the trust’s ownership."
The work is being carried out by Kier Construction Major Projects, with the unit due to open in late 2013 or early 2014.
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