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Swansea dementia care centre launched

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 27, 2012

By Rupert Hall

Health Minister Lesley Griffiths talks to staff (from left) Katherine Protheroe Alison Jones and James Morris after officially opening Ysbryd y Coed

Health Minister Lesley Griffiths talks to staff (from left) Katherine Protheroe Alison Jones and James Morris after officially opening Ysbryd y Coed

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A MULTI-MILLION pound care centre for elderly people with dementia has been officially launched in Swansea.

Work on the £18.5 million Ysbryd y Coed unit at the city's Cefn Coed Hospital began in August 2010.

The 60-bed centre has been caring for patients since May this year and is now close to capacity according to Abertawe Bro Morgannwg (ABM) University Health Board chairman Win Griffiths.

The chairman yesterday joined Welsh Government Health Minister Lesley Griffiths in launching the centre which is split into three wards.

The minister was given a tour of Ysbyrd y Coed and said: "It is my pleasure to be here and to be invited to formally open this unit.

"It has been fantastic to have a look around.

"Mental health is a huge priority for the Welsh Government.

"We know incidence of dementia is increasing.

"It is now that we need to prepare our services and our facilities for the incidence that is increasing.

"It is not just about bricks and mortar. The jewel in the crown for the NHS is our staff.

"We need buildings, but it is the staff that really count.

"It is very clear we have a wonderful, dedicated and committed team of staff here."

Construction of the unit was carried out by Cwmbwrla based firm Interserve Construction which ensured 80 per cent of the workforce involved were from areas within 25 miles of the scheme.

At its peak around 200 construction staff were on site at any one time.

Mr Griffiths said: "When you see the buildings which the staff have moved from you get a fillip just to walk into this building.

"We know unfortunately dementia is increasing.

"It is good to think we are surviving longer but unfortunately quite a number of people have dementia problems.

"Work like this is going to be needed in the future unless someone can produce a wonder drug or therapy which stops nerves from dying."

Ysbryd y Coed has 40 beds for women and 20 for men.

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  • Curandero  |  November 28 2012, 10:51AM

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  • clarysage50  |  November 27 2012, 12:49PM

    I would like to add my good wishes also for the success of this venture - having an elderly relative in an EMI unit 'Elderly Mentally Infirm', I know exactly what the staff will be facing when they take their first patients. There will be an increasing need for services such as this one at Ysbryd y Coed - I just hope that governments fully understand and accept this need.

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  • Julesbreadbox  |  November 27 2012, 9:58AM

    Congrats and all the best for a successful future! I have worked at similar care centers in Germany and have to say that a well run dementia care center is an amazing institution. I was part of a team of musicians who worked with dementia patients by making music. Those patients who knew how to play an instrument were encouraged to carry on doing so or start again with the instrument. I even had a student who decided "NOW" was the right time to give the piano a go!!! Part of the work was to arrange music so that it could be performed with very simple means, some patients "playing" the violin for example just playing on one open string. The experience of being part of a community was invalualble to them. As part of the project we had a "Senioren Salon Orchester", an Andre Rieu style orchestra for 65+ seniors where we played and performed entertainment music from the 30s and 40s. During our concerts we could watch people's faces brighten up. Probably the most enjoyable time and experience in my entire life. I hope this care center will offer similar occupational therapies for their residents/patients.

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