A purpose-built psychiatric care facility caring for some of Fife’s most vulnerable individuals was officially opened by the Minister for Mental Health, Maureen Watt MSP.

The new Hollyview Ward at Stratheden Hospital will cater for those experiencing acute episodes of mental illness, providing specialist care and treatment at a time when patients are at their most vulnerable.

The eight-bed facility sits on the north-eastern part of the hospital grounds and replaces the Intensive Psychiatric Care Unit (IPCU) which was previously housed in one of the Victorian buildings on the hospital site.

Construction on the £4.4m project began in May 2015 with patients past and present playing a pivotal role in the design of the new unit, identifying many of the key features which made their way into the finished build.

Whilst the new unit offers a considerably more homely environment for individuals, the design also provides significant clinical benefits which support recovery and shorten the length of hospital stay. Individuals who are cared for in the new facility have access to an art and music room, a group therapy room, gym and a relaxation area, which creates a better environment and allows staff to deliver the therapies which aid patients in their rehabilitation.

the facility also enables greater privacy than was afforded within the previous unit, where there were shared bedrooms. Individuals will now each have their own single bedroom with en suite shower room, enabling greater privacy and offering a tranquil space should time alone be required. A central courtyard also offers a considerable outdoor space to exercise or to relax and enjoy some fresh air, which was lacking in the previous unit.

A further improvement from the previous facility is the provision of private rooms where individuals can spend time with visiting friends and relatives. Limitations in the old facility meant that patients could only spend time with visitors in the communal dining area. The new Unit allows individuals to meet with friends and loved ones in comfortably furnished rooms, each with access to a second courtyard.

Councillor Andrew Rodger, Chair of Fife’s Health and Social Care Partnership which oversees the provision of mental health care, said:

“Improving mental health services for the people of Fife is a key priority for the Health and Social Care Partnership. The Hollyview Ward will not only allow our most vulnerable patients to recover in a safer and more homely environment; it will also support our skilled and dedicated staff to deliver rehabilitative activities which enable better recovery. We want to make the best possible mental health care available to patients in Fife and the new Hollyview Ward will play a key part in supporting us to achieve this objective.”

GRAHAM was commissioned to build the new Hollyview Ward. Regional Director, Chris MacLeod added:

“GRAHAM has built a state-of-the-art unit which will be offer a comfortable and caring environment for its patients. We have an extensive portfolio of NHS projects across Scotland, specialising in delivering advanced facilities on behalf of local authorities. It’s always rewarding to see a project open its doors and I am confident this building will be a valued part of NHS Fife’s infrastructure.”