Plans for new young people’s mental health unit in Dorset approved

25th May 2023

picu 2.pngConstruction plans are being drawn up for a long-awaited specialist care unit for young people with severe mental health problems

BCP Council has given the go-ahead for Dorset HealthCare to build a new psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) in Bournemouth.

The eight-bed inpatient unit will form part of the Trust’s Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) facilities in Alumhurst Road, Bournemouth.

And it will mean seriously ill young people can be cared for locally instead of being sent for specialist treatment elsewhere – potentially hundreds of miles from family and friends.

A previous bid to build the facility was rejected on planning grounds back in 2018. However, after a thorough consultation with local residents, a brand new design addressing previous concerns about parking, loss of trees and other issues was unanimously approved by the council’s planning committee.

Construction work will start later this year and should be completed by autumn 2025.

Rachel Small, Dorset HealthCare’s Service Director of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Services, said:

“We are delighted planners have reached this decision, and want to say thank you to all those who supported the application. The development will be hugely positive for young people, and their families, in the Dorset area and provide much needed support for those with serious mental health needs.

PICU.png“This scheme had been welcomed by families of former patients who had to be treated elsewhere in the country due to lack of specialist capacity, so I am pleased to say we will be able to start providing treatment locally in the near future.”

The project is part of the Government’s New Hospitals Programme, which has allocated £70.6 million to Dorset HealthCare for two new mental health building schemes. Plans for the second phase of refurbishments, at St Ann’s Hospital, are currently live and available for comment on the council’s planning portal.

Our dedicated webpage features design images and detailed explanation on how these proposed facilities will improve mental health services for Dorset.

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