The fight for a better Banksia has progressed with the release of designs outlining the beds and services that will be offered to child, adolescent, adult, and elderly patients.
The $56.2 million 37-bed facility is the result of a dedicated campaign kicked off by the Tamworth Mental Health Carers Support Group, who have also been a part of the co-design team for the new unit.
The new mental health unit will replace the existing Banksia Unit on the Tamworth Hospital campus and will offer services for adults and young people across the New England and North West.
Nationals Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson thanked the community for their advocacy and said the new concept designs give insight into what services will be offered for patients, staff and visitors.
“These new designs give the community a first look at the better Banksia mental health unit we have been fighting for,” Mr Anderson said.
“Our community has been calling for the inclusion of child and adolescent beds in the new unit and we delivered with $14.6 million in additional funding as part of the 2022/23 budget.
“These new designs show that we will have beds and services for young people, adolescents, adults, and the elderly, which is a significant upgrade on the current unit and is what we have fought for from the start.
“The new world-class facility will provide welcoming, comfortable, safe and supportive facilities as well as bring a much-needed expansion of services in our area,” Mr Anderson said.
Nationals Minister for Regional and Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the updated designs reflect the additional $14.6 million announced in the 2022-23 NSW Budget to provide improved services for young people in this part of the state.
“By adding enhanced mental health services for young people, we can further improve the care provided as well as positive outcomes for clients and their families. The extra beds will ensure adolescents who need care can stay closer to home and closer to their families and support networks,” Mrs Taylor said.
The new facility will include:
· Child and Adolescent Community Mental Health Services
· Four additional adolescent inpatient beds
· 20-bed adult pod, as well as five-bed adult high acuity zone
· Eight-bed older persons’ pod
The project team have now progressed to the next stage of design, and plan to start site works early in the new year.
Staff, carers, community members, and people with lived experience of mental health will continue to be involved in consultation as the project progresses.
Mr Anderson said the concept designs and information are available to view on the project website: www.hneinfra.health.nsw.gov.au/projects/banksia
“We have asked the project team to be on the ground in Tamworth in January to ensure our community has an opportunity to provide feedback. Community feedback has been so critical to delivering the facility we need, and I want to ensure that continues as we move through the final stages of planning and consultation,” Mr Anderson added.
These will be held in Tamworth from 23-25 January 2023.
The project is part of the NSW Government’s record $11.9 billion investment in health infrastructure over four years to 2025-26, with nearly a third of the capital allocation in this financial year going towards regional and rural health facilities.
The NSW Government has allocated $700 million to the State-wide Mental Health Infrastructure Program, an initiative designed to support the delivery of mental health care reform across the state.