FREMANTLE Hospital is set to have a new 20-bed secure mental health unit.
Health minister Roger Cook announced the $15.6 million funding, along with $3 million to fund the planning to decommission Graylands Hospital.
Fremantle Hospital buildings will be refurbished and redeveloped to cater for the mental health unit and courtyard which is expected to open in 2022.
The hospital currently has 48 acute adult inpatient beds and 16 inpatient beds for older adults with a mental illness.
Mr Cook said this announcement is an important one.
“It’s 20 beds here, ultimately that’s never going to be enough, we will continue to receive a strong demand.,” he said.
“Today represents another vote of confidence that Fremantle Hospital will continue to provide great services to the Fremantle community into the future.”
Mr Cook said the indicative date for the closing Graylands is 2026.
“Before closing Graylands we will have to build the capacity of our community based mental health services,” he said.
“We will need to work closely with those patients who have been at the facility, some for many years.
“Graylands is an ageing piece of infrastructure but more importantly it represents an old fashioned model of care.”
Mr Cook announced $3.6 million for the establishment of recovery Colleges in Western Australia, a similar system used in the United Kingdom.
“What we need sitting behind our emergency department is good secure acute mental health facilities,” he said.
“We need to continue to build our community-based care capacity, unless we have that capacity in our acute mental health services we will continue to see our ED’s overwhelmed.”