New Integrated Mental Health Centre Opens at Falkirk Community Hospital

A new integrated ‘hub has opened at Falkirk Community Hospital which brings together a wide range of mental health services previously provided at Westbank and Dunrowan day hospitals.

The facility, which was officially opened by NHS Forth Valley Chairman Alex Linkston, is known as Woodlands Resource Centre. It is is housed in two former hospital wards which underwent an extensive £2m programme of refurbishment to create a light, bright, modern and airy environment for patients and staff with a variety of group and individual therapy rooms as well as garden areas and courtyards.

Around 70 health and council staff are based in the facility including doctors, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists, dieticians, mental health officers and social workers. They work together to provide a wide range of assessment, treatment, therapeutic and educational services for local patients and their families. These include individual, group and family therapy and a range of educational courses on managing mental health issues. The Centre also provides a range of personal development, social and recreational such as gardening, art therapy, music classes and Tai Chi to help support recovery and improve an individual’s quality of life.

Kathy O’Neill, General Manager for Community Health Services, NHS Forth Valley, said: “Falkirk Community Hospital already provides a wide range of local health services and these moves will further enhance and extend the range of services available to local people.

“Bringing separate mental health services and teams together in the one place makes it easier for staff to work together and provide a more joined-up and co-ordinated service. It will also help speed up the referral process to ensure local people are seen and assessed as quickly as possible.”

Alex Linkston, Chairman of NHS Forth Valley, said: “The development of Woodlands Resource Centre represents a significant investment in local mental healthcare and enables us to provide a wide range of important services in more modern accommodation which better meets the needs of service users and staff.”

Service users and staff will also have access to a number of gardens and courtyard areas within the new Centre as well as the woodland areas surrounding the Community Hospital, which have been restored by Forestry Commission Scotland. These green spaces are complimented by two existing gardens in the hospital which were created using donations from the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) and a recently restored community garden near the Majors Loan entrance.

The project was delivered by hub East Central Scotland, a joint partnership between public and private sector organisations, aimed at developing and delivering better local services across East Central Scotland.

Hub East Central Scotland, Chief Executive, Gary Bushnell, said: “Our team successfully managed this project to ensure that it was delivered on time and on budget, without compromising the quality of the refurbishment. We also worked closely with local staff to agree the design and layout of around 80 rooms and the initial feedback from those based as the Centre has been very positive.”

Both Dunrowan and Westbank sites are no longer required for the delivery of NHS services and will be marketed for sale, as planned.