£6m unit on way for people with learning disabilities

Building work has begun on new facilities for people with learning disabilities in Hull.

The £6m unit will replace Townend Court, on Cottingham Road, and provide a “safe and therapeutic” environment for up to 14 people.

Another use will be found for Townend Court, which originally started life as a maternity hospital in the 1930s but has been an inpatient unit for people with learning disabilities since 1996.

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The facility, being built by Humber NHS Foundation Trust and Simons Construction, in a joint venture with Medicinq, will consist of 14 bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, activity areas, as well as staff bases, offices, a seclusion room and landscaped therapeutic gardens.

It should be completed next October.

Humber’s chief executive David Snowdon, NHS Hull’s learning disability and mental health commissioner Keith Baulcombe and patients, carers and staff from Townend Court gathered to cut the first turf on Friday.

Mr Snowdon said: “We are very excited about this new development.

“The new building will be filled with natural light and has been designed with our patients’ wellbeing in mind. Our staff and patients are looking forward very much to moving in when the facility is finished in autumn 2012 and this celebration of the start of the work marks a crucial milestone in the project.”

The total cost of the development is £6.2m, with £2.9m coming from NHS Hull and the rest from Humber NHS Foundation Trust.

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