Former DHB Iwi Māori council chair and Raukawa Settlement/Charitable Chair Kataraina Hodge said that on behalf of iwi in the Waikato it is a great relief to have the business plan approved.
There has been a lot of people involved with planning and engagement to get to this stage. The new Adult Acute Mental Health Inpatient Facility is very important and is a much-needed building for our community.
“Thanks to all the people involved who worked hard to put the business plan together.”
The new facility will replace the Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre and will provide a welcoming and therapeutic environment for people who are experiencing mental illness and seeking wellness (tangata whaiora) and their whānau, a Te Whatu Ora Waikato statement said.
This is a major milestone towards delivery of the facility, Te Whatu Ora Waikato Mental Health & Addictions Service Operations Director Vicki Aitken said.
“Getting to this point has taken the work and input of many staff, service users and their whānau, mana whenua, community stakeholders and others.
“Having an environment that supports recovery and wellbeing, that has a culturally and clinically safe and effective service is an essential part of a well-functioning system for mental health care,” said Aitken.
The need for specialist mental health services continues to grow, with a 100 per cent increase in people accessing mental health services over the past twelve years.
It’s also good news for Te Whatu Ora Waikato Renal Medicine Head of Department Dr Drew Henderson.
“The new unit will give us a long-term home which meets international standards for our patients who are on dialysis.
This will enable us to deliver all our outpatient services within one dedicated building, with a range of specialists onsite, as the renal services will be all together.
The new regional centre will be the first step on our journey to improve delivery of dialysis for patients across the region.”
Te Whatu Ora Waikato interim district co-director Chris Lowry said mental health and addiction services are a priority and approval of the detailed business case is a significant step forward.
“The successful and timely delivery of this large building programme is important for Waikato.”
Planning and design work for both buildings has continued alongside the business case development. Steps until now included exploration and analysis of several options.
“With our preferred option now approved, we can now move forward with completing the remaining design for each facility.”
Groundworks on both facilities are expected to start in mid-2023.
The mental health facility will be built in two phases as it will be situated on the old renal centre site. This allows the new renal centre to be completed and the services to move in, making way for the mental health building be completed.