South West Wales

Swansea's Cefn Coed psychiatric hospital to shut

Cefn Coed Hospital
Image caption Cefn Coed Hospital was built 80 years ago

A psychiatric hospital deemed not fit for purpose by a health watchdog could shut within four years, say managers.

A Healthcare Inspectorate Wales report last week into failings at Swansea's Cefn Coed Hospital was triggered after allegations of sexual abuse.

The hospital, which was built 80 years ago, is being partially replaced by a new £18m unit, which opens next month.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg (ABM) Health Board said the decision to close Cefn Coed was taken a few years ago.

ABM health board last week accepted the findings of the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) report, adding that it had made a number of improvements.

It said the changes were part of a £100m modernisation of its mental health services, which also included facilities in Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend.

Among the new facilities on the Cefn Coed site is a new 60-bed unit called Ysbryd y Coed, which opens next month.

It will provide care for older people with dementia, and patients will be transferred from two existing wards in Cefn Coed and from Garngoch Hospital.

Other facilities, built next to Ysbryd y Coed, also replaced wards in Cefn Coed when they opened 18 months ago.

An ABM spokeswoman said: "Mental health services in the ABM University Health Board area are undergoing major modernisation - both in terms of huge investments in new buildings, and how we provide the services themselves.

"Much of the accommodation for mental health services in the health board area was outdated and no longer fit for purpose.

"It is being replaced by modern, state-of-the-art facilities in a rolling programme which began around two-three years ago, and has different capital schemes at various stages.

"Some are completed, others are currently underway and work is due to begin later on the rest."

'More to come'

The spokeswoman confirmed that ABM planned to shut Cefn Coed within four years.

She added: "While there is a great deal of building work completed or underway to replace services at the old Cefn Coed Hospital, there is still more to come.

Image caption The new Ysbryd y Coed unit opens next month

"Following the commissioning of Ysbryd y Coed a number of wards will still remain in the existing Cefn coed hospital. It has been acknowledged that these also need to be replaced with modern facilities."

She said a partnership group, including the local authorities and service user groups, would consider the way forward for adult acute assessment services, with design planning set to start later this year and a new unit finished in 2015.

The HIW report was triggered after allegations of sexual abuse by male staff on female patients in 2010, which resulted in a criminal conviction.

The HIW said while ABM acted quickly to initiate its own investigation into the concerns and initiate improvements, there remained "significant and substantial" challenges ahead.

It added: "One of these is that the hospital site is no longer fit for purpose and it is evident that its design compromises standards of care."

The report made 16 recommendations across three areas, patient experience, quality of care and service development.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites