Readers of the Penarth times may have missed the tiny article at the bottom of page 4, which shows our local A.M.'s glorification of the new Mental Health Assessment Unit, on which construction has started, at a cost of £56m. Well, he was nearly right and good on him for supporting anything to do with mental health. However, I feel that some bit of knowledge of this development may be of use to him when he next decides to discuss the project.
Unless I am seriously mistaken the Elderly Mentally Infirm Assessment Unit is near completion and due to be opened in the September 2012. I would suggest that the £56m cost quoted be checked, as a 57 bed unit on the same site was recently built for £7.155M, whereas the Assessment Unit will have 82 beds, which makes the quoted cost of £56m unbelievable. This unit should not be applauded, as it is a reduction of 192 E.M.I beds since June 2002. Moreover, he may have noticed that this is an 'Assessment unit', with a targeted maximum stay of 42 days, whereupon no one knows what the fate of these vulnerable patients will be.
Mr Gethin A.M. may care to know that all existing E.M.I beds in Cardiff and the Vale are to be closed, leaving only the hopelessly inadequate unit in Llandough.which offers no hope for most of these Incurable, degenerative Demntia/Alzheimer's who will only get worse and die.
Mr Gethinn may agree with the Cardiff & Vale Universally Inept Health Board that this is an excellent solution to the growing number of the elderly in our society, a percentage of whom will become fatally ill with dementia - i.e. dumping them 'in the community', thus abdicating their Duty of Care to these our elderly relatives. On the other hand, Mr Vaughn might care to investigate this, and the proposed £80m Adult Mental Health Hospital, which will offer inadequate access to much needed inpatient care for the hundreds of acutely mentally ill patients in our area.
I accept that Mr Gethin is somewhat naive in his new role but I respectfully suggest that he gets up to speed on these mental health issues with some degree of urgency. So far, no other A.M has had the intestinal fortitude to question either ( or both ) of these developments or their fanciful costs, that were obviously created in some smoke-filled den of inquity in the Cardiff Bay Area. As a member of the same party, I understand that he is a qualified solicitor, which should be of enormous help to him when he questions the legality of events leading up to the so-called consultations on these matters. I must also add that the UHB also propose to move Rookwood Hospital to half of the top floor of Llandough, in order to profit from the sale of Rookwood site to a property developer, whilst reducing the amount of care available to their spinal injury patients. Still we ( and they, of course ) live on the hope that their deception of the Charity Commission will not convince that august, and independent authority that the UHB ( or it's bogus Trustee - led 'charity' ) that "It's a straight swap - we're making not a penny on the deal - honest guv". Fat chance, I say, but who knows how such large public bodies get away with the mismanagement of our money, now or in the past ? I really hope that Mr Gethin can get us an answer to the question "What is to become of the long-suffering patients at Whitchurch hospital during the 4 years that the new until will take to be built ? R.W.