AN NHS trust has announced plans to build a new 54-bed hospital for inpatient mental health services.

The hospital will be built on a site in Mount View Street in north east Bexhill at a cost of roughly £46 million.

Services currently at the Department of Psychiatry in Eastbourne District General Hospital will be relocated to the new site when it opens by March 2024, eradicating out-dated dormitories.

The proposal will enable the local NHS trust to benefit from national funding being made available to scrap dormitory accommodation in all inpatient services.

Dr David Warden, clinical chair of the East Sussex clinical commissioning group governing body, said: "Our plan to build a new hospital in Bexhill enables us to remove out-dated dormitory accommodation at the Department of Psychiatry and replace it with individual bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms for all our patients.

"This means that people with serious mental health problems will receive high-quality care in modern and safe accommodation which preserves their privacy and dignity and provides the best therapeutic environment."

The announcement comes after a 12-week public consultation earlier this year, which saw hundreds of people make their views known, including service users, carers, families, representative groups, charities, politicians and members of the public.

The consultation found there was strong support for a long-term vision to create campus-style facilities on a single site to help address all mental health inpatient needs across East Sussex for many years to come.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Sam Allen said: "Working together with our partners, we set out to involve as many people as possible - especially people who use the services and those who care for them - in our proposals.

"The proposals have been almost universally supported by those who took part in the consultation and, given this, we are confident that this is the best way forward for the people of East Sussex.

"We are also delighted that our long-term plans to create a centre of excellence for mental health services on one site in the future were also given strong support.

"This plan will go hand-in-hand with improvements to community mental health services to help people stay in their own homes rather than go to hospital."

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