Casa Nuova to receive patients with Huntington’s disease and intellectual disability

Government’s long-term plan for Mount Carmel Hospital is to close down the facility when patient numbers go down

The Casa Nuova mental health facility in Paola
The Casa Nuova mental health facility in Paola

Patients suffering from Huntington's disease and intellectual disability will be cared for at the Casa Nuova premises in Paola.

Speaking during the launch on Thursday, Health Minister Chris Fearne said the new facility will house 50 patients, and is part of government’s strategy on mental health.

He said these patients used to be cared for at Mount Carmel Hospital, but will be transferred to new the facility for more patient-centred care.

Fearne stated the country is ahead in its mental health strategy targets.

“This is part of our strategy to relocate mental health patients away from Mount Carmel Hospital,” the minister said.

He stated that over the past three years, patients at Mount Carmel Hospital have been reduced by almost half, with government carrying out restoration works in a number of wards. “There are now around 200 patients receiving care at the hospital.”

“The ward with dangerous beams which made headlines some years ago has been emptied and will be demolished and turned into a garden,” Fearne said.

Fearne said that government plans to reduce the number of patients to around 100 in the coming years. He said these patients have been living there for more than 30 years, and it would be very difficult to relocate them back into the community.

“In the long-term, when the numbers continue to go down, Mount Carmel Hospital will then close down for good,” he said.

The Nationalist Party on Wednesday announced that it will close Mount Carmel and create a specialised hospital integrated with Mater Dei should it be voted into government.

READ ALSO: PN will close down Mount Carmel as part of mental health reform strategy