ULSTER HOSPITAL TO KEEP MENTAL HEALTH UNIT

The Ulster hospital in Dundonald where a new site has been found for its acute mental health facilities

A HOSPITAL undergoing a massive facelift programme could keep its acute mental health services status within the South Eastern Trust.

A site had been previously earmarked for Lagan Valley hospital in Lisburn, Co Antrim.

However, a new site has become available at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald which is currently undergoing a massive redevelopment programme.

A final decision will be made by the South Eastern trust within the next two weeks.

Mental heath campaigners living on the Ards Peninsula say a facility in Lisburn is too far away for patients.

Former patient, June Braniff, said it would be a welcome move if services were to remain in Dundonald.

“It would mean patients could have the company of their family and friends for longer times, the journey to Lisburn leaves no time for visiting,” she said.

In 2010, the South Eastern Trust said it wanted to move its acute care for mental health in-patients at the Ulster Hospital and Downe Hospital to Lagan Valley Hospital.

In-patient services from both hospitals had been due to be moved to Lisburn by 2015 following a public consultation.

The trust had wanted to transfer ward 27 at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald to a single mental health unit or ‘centre of excellence’ at the Lagan Valley Hospital.

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