MP backs health plans

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PROPOSALS to invest in a brand new mental health facility at Leigh Infirmary have been praised by Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham.

In last week’s Leigh Reporter we revealed that Simon Barber, Chief Executive at 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, had announced that his Trust Board had given a £24m investment outline approval for a community facility.

The plans include more in-patient beds and a separate unit for men and women with en-suite facilities.

The Trust also hopes to improve the psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) and include a gym for long-term patients.

The new hub will be used by the community and will include other mental health service providers and charities

Now Leigh MP Andy Burnham has stepped forward to voice his support for the plans.

Mr Burnham said: “This investment spells out the Trust’s on-going commitment to the people of Leigh and Wigan, ensuring that when they access mental health services, they do so in an environment that will support and enhance their journey of recovery.

“It is especially encouraging to hear that the Trust will be seeking to contract local builders to carry out the work wherever possible and that the investment will maintain jobs in the borough for the future.”

Mr Burnham’s support was welcomed by the Trust’s Chief Executive Mr Barber.

He said: “I’m delighted to hear that Mr Burnham supports our vision for Leigh Infirmary.

“Like us, Mr Burnham recognises that this as a real opportunity to give the people of Leigh and Wigan a modern purpose-built mental health facility that they can feel proud of. We will be talking to as many different people as possible to hear their views on what our next steps should be.

“I am sure he would join me in encouraging everyone to look out for future opportunities to have their say and to join in on these important conversations.”

Members of the public will also have their say during the consultation period, which is expected to take place once the planning application is submitted mid next year.

Once approved, building work could start at the end of next year will a completion date of 2014.