Work has begun on the £20m 75 bed psychiatric hospital on Westpark26 Business Estate. Planning permission for the hospital was granted 4 years ago and building and commissioning is expected to take up to 2 years. The hospital will provide “a safe and secure environment for people with mental health issues”.
Philip Sharratt, Director of Business Regeneration, Kjelgaard (UK) Limited which has oversight of the project, said, “The new hospital will provide care treatment for people with mental illness, many of whom are currently sent to hospitals out of the county for the highly specialised care and treatment they need.”
“The government requires patients to be treated close to home wherever possible, and this new service will contribute to this agenda. As a priority, the hospital will allow repatriation of patients to the South West peninsula to be closer to home and families. The facility will primarily serve the residents of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.”
“Service provision in the hospital will be adapted to local NHS need at the time of completion.”
“The hospital will support the local economy with an anticipated spend on local products and services reaching £1m per annum and contribute an estimated £4.5m annually in creating supply-chain opportunities for small local businesses.”
“When fully operational the hospital will provide the equivalent of 110 full time jobs across clinical, non-clinical, hotel and business services. The majority of staff will be recruited from the local resident population. The facility will require staff with a very wide range of skills, from grounds staff to qualified doctors. It is likely that all but the top two or three posts will be filled by local people.”
Philip Sharrett added, “The Health and Care sector is an ‘industry of the future’, and its significance in achieving economic growth is recognised in the Taunton Deane economic strategy. The facility will also support the local education sector, in particular local higher and further education provision with the creation of new qualification and training opportunities for local residents. The Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), local authorities and local HE/FE provision are already working to prepare for the new opportunities this investment will bring to Wellington.”
Groundwork for the hospital is already under way at the south west end of the business estate.