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pounds 60m for city mental health plan.

A pounds 60 million scheme to unite mental health services and create four new centres in Birmingham has been approved.

The city council's development control committee has granted planning permission for Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust to go ahead with the scheme.

Three of the new buildings will replace the existing Queen Elizabeth Psychiatric Hospital in Edgbaston, which will be demolished.

A fourth facility will be built on the former women's hospital site in Sparkhill. It will form part of joint plans with University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust for a new pounds 521 million acute hospital trust and five mental health centres.

Work on both sites is due to start next spring and the centres are expected to open in January 2007.

Sue Turner, chief executive of the trust, said: 'These developments are wonderful news for our patients and staff because we will be able to offer much better quality services, in modern buildings, with speedier access for people who have mental health problems.

'People can expect a significant improvement in services, more closely connected to the area where they live. We intend to work closely with local residents during all phases of this development to ensure it becomes something the local community is proud of.' The new mental health facilities in Edgbaston will include 64 adult acute beds for patients from the South Birmingham Primary Care Trust area, a ten-bed psychiatric intensive care unit, and an education and training centre.

It will also include a 30-bed unit offering services for people suffering from eating disorders and hearing problems.

The new 32-bed facility at Showell Green Lane, Sparkhill, will provide key services for patients with mild to moderate mental health problems in the area.

It will include out-patient and day hospital services and be a base for mental health teams.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 25, 2004
Words:303
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