Last weekend saw the official commencement of works at the site of the former Grove Hospital Tuam, with the formal commencement of the building works ceremony of the new Community Healthcare Hub for Mental Health and Disability Services.
The long awaited initiation of this project was presided over by Ms. Breda Crehan-Roche, Chief Officer, Community Healthcare West; Grainne Cahill, Estates Manager; Arthur Ward, Estates Project Manager; Charlie Meehan, Head of Mental Health Services Community Healthcare West; John Fitzmaurice, Head of Disability Services Community Healthcare West and Carey Building Contractors, the main contractor for the Project.
Ms Crehan-Roche said that the facility will provide co-located Mental Health and Disability Services to the population of Tuam and surrounding areas in a modern state of the art facility.
The former Grove Hospital, Tuam was purchased for the purpose of establishing a range of facilities to serve Tuam and the surrounding communities in a single integrated campus. The first phase of the project saw the official opening of the Tuam Primary Care Building in July 2018.
The second phase of this project will now see the replacement of the Old Grove Building which will be converted into a modern Mental Health Day Service and a Children’s Disability Network Team base (0-18 years ) at a cost of approximately €13m. The project will comprise of the following components – Mental Health facilities and Disability Service facilities as well as shared infrastructure and support services.
The current base for the Community Mental Health Team and Day Hospital in Tuam is at the Toghermore Campus on the outskirts of Tuam. The new location for these services will be in the centre of Tuam and will allow for easier access for both the people of Tuam and the wider catchment area, through local transport systems going directly to the centre of the town.
This new Community Mental Health Team Headquarters will be the community base for the General Adult Community Mental Health Team comprising of Consultant Psychiatrist, Senior Registrar and NCHD, Clinical Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Social Worker, Peer Support Worker, Multi Task Attendants, Nursing Staff, Mental Health Association Support Staff and also Clerical Administration Staff. This team admit to Acute Adult Mental Health Unit in Galway City and serves a population of approximately 56,000 people and have approximately 540 service users on the current caseload.
The services that will be provided from the new Community Mental Health Hub will include; Out Patient Clinics, Mentalisation based Therapy Programmes, Specialist Counselling Services, e.g. Family Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Psychological Therapy, Addiction Counselling along with 1:1 supportive counselling from staff. Some of the groups which will be facilitated will include; WRAP, Solutions for Wellness, Distress Tolerance/Emotional regulation, Anxiety Management, Mindfulness, Education on Medication/Mental Wellbeing as well as 1:1 occupational assessments.
The Community Mental Health Hub will continue to operate as an Outreach Service visiting people at home during this COVID period along with having service users attend for set periods of time during the day. These are primarily people who are discharged from hospital or alternatively preventing admission. This service monitors the mental state of service users, provides education on medication concordance and monitoring the effects of the medication. Service users are reviewed by the Senior Registrar and there are approximately 34 service users on the current caseload.
Charlie Meehan, Head of Mental Health Services welcomed the forthcoming move of the Community Mental Health Team to the new building.
“This will allow for easier access for all our service users availing of these local services and I look forward to further developing our mental health services to a modern age 21stCentury Community Mental Health Service,” he said.
With the roll-out of the National Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People programme, existing Children’s Disability services are currently undergoing a significant reconfiguration nationwide. As part of this process in Community Healthcare West, 9 new Children’s Disability Network Teams are being formed. These teams will offer services to children based on their needs and their home address. Each team will operate within defined geographical areas and will aim to provide services to children as close to their home as is possible.
The Grove will serve as a base for Children’s Disability Network Team (CDNT ) 7. This team is made up of approximately 25 Clinicians and three administrative staff and is managed by the Children’s Disability Network Manager. The team will work in an interdisciplinary manner in collaboration with children and families to achieve their goals.
The team will offer support and services to approximately 700 children with complex disabilities and their families in the areas of Tuam, Abbeyknockmoy, Athenry and Loughrea. Once operational, this Children’s Disability Network Team will serve a child population of approximately 17,500. The team will provide services for all children with more significant needs and who require a team of professionals working together. Clinical services provided within the team will include Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Physiotherapy, Social Work & Behaviour Support.
John Fitzmaurice, Head of Disability Services said that this is an important development for children disabilities services in the Tuam Network.
“It will ensure that children receive their service closer to home, from the one team throughout their childhood and adolescents years (0-18yrs ) with a focus on family centred practice resulting in better outcomes for children and families. This is a welcome development for the East Galway Catchment area and it is envisaged that this project will be completed by October 2022.”