Patients without mental health issues being moved out of Mount Carmel Hospital

The hospital will focus solely on mental health patients as a newly constructed ward will welcome its first group of patients on Wednesday, Health Minister Chris Fearne said

Mount Carmel Hospital will be focusing solely on patients battling mental health issues, Health Minister Chris Fearne said on Tuesday.

He said that some 100 patients who were not suffering from mental health issues had already been relocated from the hospital.

Speaking at the inauguration of a new ward at the hospital, Fearne said that patients who did not need to be at a mental health hospital would continue to be relocated to other facilities.

The phasing out of these patients, Fearne said, was part of a ten-year plan for the hospital.

Turning to the new ward, the minister said that prior to the commencement of works, like large segments of the hospital, it had been allowed to fall into disrepair.  

He said the refurbishment of the ward required coordinated work between the planning authority, stakeholders as well as carers employed at the hospital.  The ward, which has 30 beds, will welcome the first group of patients on Wednesday.

“There are plans to refurbish, each patient ward – one after the other - in order to minimise disruption to patients,” Fearne said. He said there were also plans for the refurbishment of the physiotherapy ward.

Fearne said it was important to focus on creating a sense of community within Mount Carmel, in order to create an atmosphere where patients do not feel the stress and anxiety of being in a psychiatric hospital. 

Stephen Sultana, the hospital’s CEO said the work could not have come soon enough.

He stressed that mental health was treated as the “Cinderella” of medicine the world over – a situation that needed to change.

“One of the most important things when dealing with persons who have mental illness is not to isolate them. Patients need to not only have a strong community within Mount Carmel Hospital but must also be part of the outside community, which I feel this strategy tackles” he said.  

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