New inpatient mental health unit planned

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Health bosses are hoping to open an inpatient mental health unit in Hemel Hempstead.

The unit, in Slippers Hill off Queensway, would provide accommodation for 18 patients with ‘acute mental illness’.

Currently the St Paul’s unit provides day care services but under plans submitted to Dacorum Borough Council it will be changed into an inpatient facility.

Nik Earl, communications manager at Herts Partnership NHS Trust, said: “These patients are acutely ill. They will be going through a period where they just need more help than can be provided in the community.

“They are not likely to stay there very long – it’s not a residential facility.

“The patients that we treat at Slippers Hill are all risk assessed.

“When Slippers Hill was originally built it was built as an inpatient facility.”

So far six objections have been lodged against the move by neighbours but the trust plans to hold a public meeting by the end of the month to provide more information.

Papers submitted to the council say: “The acute ward would be an open ward and it would not be suitable to manage service users who are particularly violent, aggressive or a serious suicide risk.

“It is considered that the proposed use would be compatible with the surrounding residential area and would be an appropriate use of the site. There would be no significant adverse impact on the residential amenity of the surrounding properties through loss of privacy or noise and disturbance.

“The proposed change of use will result in a significant reduction in the number of trips generated at the application site.

“The new facility will therefore have less of an impact on the local highway network and the amenity of the neighbouring properties than the existing use, when considering traffic generation.”