New Acute Mental Health Inpatient Centre at Belfast City Hospital

21st June 2019

The new Acute Mental Health Inpatient Centre at Belfast City Hospital is a purpose-built, modern facility that will support the development of our acute mental health service in one location. This service was previously provided at the Mater and Knockbracken sites. The decision to base the centre at Belfast City Hospital is intended to reduce the stigma of mental health and ensure patients are close to clinical services they may require.

The new centre provides 80 acute mental health en-suite bedrooms, including six psychiatric intensive care beds. The centre consists of five separate inter-connected buildings arranged around a central courtyard and communal and administration areas.

All aspects of the design have been carefully considered, including colours, lighting, materials, furniture, fixtures and fittings. This ensures that the surrounding environment enhances the overall inpatient experience.

Mel Carney, Interim Co-Director of Mental Health Services at Belfast Trust, said: “We have had mental health provided across three sites in Belfast and we are now re-providing all of our acute mental health beds on one site. This modern facility has wards designed around gardens and bright spaces. The building has been developed through learning from best practice across the UK and consulting service users.

“We believe this will make a significant contribution to the mental health of the population of Belfast and we believe the environment we are providing here will support the program of care we deliver. Our service users and their families can be proud of this building and that is something they deserve.”

Peter Sloan, Consultant in Mental Health at Belfast Trust, added: “The treatment of mental illness has changed significantly in the past 20 years. We now pride ourselves on being recovery-focused and being able to deliver the majority of our treatments in a community setting. There is, however, a group of patients who will require treatment in an inpatient setting and we believe this new state-of-the-art unit will provide the setting for their recovery.

“Mental health services are unfortunately associated with stigma and we are hopeful this new centre will move towards destigmatising mental health problems. Situating the centre on a general hospital site in the heart of the community and calling it the Acute Mental Health Inpatient Centre is a step towards removing that sigma from society.”