A NEW £11million dementia care facility to be built on Wearside has been given the go-ahead.
The centre, which will be built at Monkwearmouth Hospital, will include 24 en-suite bedrooms as well as a range of shared accommodation for patients, staff and visitors.
Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Trust, who run the hospital, hope it will encapsulate the latest findings in dementia related research.
Project director Tony Railton said: “Demolition of the old unit is set to start in June and, hopefully, building work will then start in August.
“If everything goes to plan, we then will hope to open the new facility by August 2013.”
The 24 beds will be split up into two 12-bed single-sex assessment and treatment wards with a swing zone between each one to allow for flexibility with admissions.
Mr Railton said: “The service is for people with varying forms of dementia. They are often being looked after by family members.
“The unit will, hopefully, mean that for some people who are very in need they can use this in-patient service. It will not provide long-term care.
“It will allow people with dementia to be closely monitored so they can address any problems with challenging behaviour.
“The other benefit is that people can become quite unwell and challenging in their behaviour, and so it will give the people who look after them a rest and a chance to get their own strength back up.”
Planning permission was granted to the Trust at a planning meeting at the council last week.
In approving the new build certain conditions were attached by planning chiefs, but none that are unusual in a project of this kind.
The build will also involve the demolition of the Newhaven Treatment Unit and the LD Treatment Unit.