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13 February 2010, 06:00
Members of the public are invited to share their views about proposals to build a new Child and Adolescent Mental Health facility in Colchester today.
The consultation, organised by North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will be held between 10:00am and 3:00pm at St Michael's Church Hall, Mile End Road, Colchester.
The proposal is to build an in-patient facility with 25 beds at the Boxted Road site (part of the former Severalls Hospital site). This would have 15 standard places for inpatients, including the older teenage group (up to 18 years old) and 10 places for young people with more complex needs.
The new facility is part of the Trust's overall plan to improve mental health services for young people.
Children and adolescents with mental health problems from across North Essex will benefit from a purpose built facility where they can be treated closer to home.
Currently, older teenagers are treated in adult facilities which are sometimes far away from their families.
The design of the building is based on an enclosed courtyard garden concept. This will provide a safe environment with bedrooms facing outwards to the greenery of the site, more space to create a calming atmosphere, better use of natural light, and good visibility along corridors and across courtyards.
Paul Keedwell, Director of Nursing at North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: "We are very interested in hearing what local people think about our plans to build a new, state-of-the-art facility where young people with mental health problems can be treated in a safe and therapeutic environment. Everyone is welcome to attend, so come along and tell us what you think."