The opening of the new Byron Bay Hospital.
The opening of the new Byron Bay Hospital. Marc Stapelberg

New hospital offers mental health service

UPDATE: A 20-bed mental health facility which is the first of its kind in the Northern New South Wales Heath District will be housed in the new Byron Central Hospital.

“This is the missing piece in mental healthcare,” the NSW Minister for Health Pru Goward said, while opening the new Byron Central Hospital in Byron Bay today.

The “step-down or sub acute facility” will be able to accommodate patients for up to a month as they adjust back to normal life after a psychotic episode, she said.

"It is a wonderful facility, patients will be provided with a very good therapy program and some life skills,” she said.

"We are hoping that it will reduce readmissions to hospitals for acute mental illness, and add to the capacity of the health district to keep people well,” she said.

The system can deal with patients when they have an acute episode, “but until now, it hadn’t been so good at providing care once they returned home, or perhaps were put in the care of a GP,” Minister Goward said.

“People had no where to go once they were discharged from an acute facility,” she said.

“Now we can provide them a month-long residential program where they can pick-up life skills, get on going support and therapy.

“You aren’t going to get over an acute mental episode in one night. But a month of treatment with ongoing community support once you leave this facility is going to really enhance the way we treat people with mental health in this region,” she said.

INITIAL: THE new Byron Bay Hospital was officially opened today.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Minister for Mental Health Pru Goward were in the area to ‘cut the tape’ on the sleek new building and have a tour of the facility.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner at the opening of the Byron Bay Hospital
Health Minister Jillian Skinner at the opening of the Byron Bay Hospital Marc Stapelberg

While it has been officially opened the hospital will not be admitting patients until later in the month.

More details to come.



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