Work starts on state-of-the-art eating disorders unit for Dorset

26th October 2021

A ‘spade in the ground’ ceremony has heralded the start of construction work on a new inpatient eating disorders unit in Poole.

Dorset HealthCare is increasing its capacity to support local people through the £8 million development at St Ann’s Hospital in Sandbanks, which is due to be completed in 2023.

Currently, six inpatients can be cared for by the specialist team based at St Ann’s, but the new two-storey building will be able to accommodate ten – reducing the need for out-of-area treatments.

In addition, the new unit will be able to offer day care treatment slots as an alternative to inpatient care, and support earlier discharge to community care.

Dr Ciarán Newell, Consultant Nurse for eating disorders at the Trust, said:

“We are absolutely delighted that this project has begun. The current capacity of six beds at our unit doesn’t meet demand and, as a result, some patients go to specialist units elsewhere in the country for treatment. We are very pleased that more local people will soon be able to get the care they need and still be close to their friends and family, which can aid their recovery.”

Eugine Yafele, the Trust’s Chief Executive, added:

“It’s fantastic news that the build of our new eating disorders unit is underway. It will allow us to provide first class care for more people in their local area.

“An increase in capacity of our eating disorders unit is necessary to reduce wait times and provide specialised care for residents in the county. I am extremely grateful to BCP Council planners for recognising the importance of this development and giving us the go-ahead.”

Representatives from the Trust were joined at the ground-breaking event by developers Kier Construction, Medical Architecture and Gleeds Management Services.

Mark Norris, Regional Director of Kier Construction London, South and Strategic Projects, commented:

“We understand this is an important new facility that will increase capacity and support Dorset HealthCare effectively treat patients from Dorset and the South West of England. We are proud to have been selected to construct this new building and over the next 18 months, we will utilise our skill and experience to deliver a purpose-built space with first-class facilities.”



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