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Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit: Dorset

Volume 696: debated on Tuesday 8 June 2021

What steps he is taking to support the construction of a new psychiatric intensive care unit in Dorset. (900823)

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, not least for providing me with my only opportunity to answer a question on the Order Paper today. I am delighted to confirm that St Ann’s Hospital in Dorset is already part of our plan to build 48 hospitals by 2030—the biggest hospital building programme in a generation. The new build at St Ann’s will provide child and adult mental health services for the people of Dorset, resulting in outdated infrastructure being replaced by facilities for staff and patients that are at the cutting edge of modern technology, innovation and sustainability, driving excellence in this hugely important area of patient care.

I thank the Minister for his hard work in reopening the Yeatman Hospital in Sherborne, which will happen in a couple of weeks for A&E. On top of what he has already offered, which I very much appreciate, will he commit specifically to increase inpatient provision for children and young people in West Dorset with severe mental health difficulties, as we have a number of difficult cases?

My hon. Friend takes a great interest in these matters and, as he will know, the number of places commissioned is a matter for NHS commissioners locally. I reassure him that we can commit, and my hon. Friend the Minister for mental health services is committed, to expanding and transforming community mental health services across England, boosted by an additional £79 million this year, so that children and young people get timely access to the support and treatment they need, without having to be admitted to hospital. That is, of course, alongside the investment to which I have referred for inpatient mental health facilities at St Ann’s.