New elderly mentally infirm unit set to open in the north

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The official opening of Reayrt Skyal elderly mentally infirm unit in Ramsey will be undertaken by Leonard Singer MHK next Monday (May 13).

The £3.7 million facility – in Gardeners Lane, off Lezayre Road – replaced the former Gardner House unit, which was based at Ramsey District Cottage Hospital and closed as it was deemed inadequate by modern standards.

The Department of Social Care’s Reayrt Skyal was built by Dandara – construction started in August 2010 – and was initially due to be completed in late 2011, but work was held up by a delay in plans to widen Gardeners Lane, the main access road to the site

After the closure of the Ramsey Cottage Hospital EMI facilities, patients were transferred to the similar Thie Meanagh in Douglas, which was also built by Dandara.

The department was handed over the keys to Reayrt Skyal unit in July last year and patients, which were transferred to Douglas, were moved back to the north, to the new Reayrt Skyal facility.

Reayrt Skyal provides 12 continuing care beds and four short term care (respite) beds plus a day service that can accommodate up to 15 people.

It has been hailed as the final piece in the jigsaw from the 1991 Community Care plan for the provision of EMI services, incorporating all that has been learned about the provision of this specialist service since the opening of Thie Meanagh.

The Department of Social Care has said that the new unit ‘brings all the department’s EMI residential and specialist services up to modern standards and improves the quality of life for its service users’.

At the keys handing over ceremony, Ramsey MHK Mr Singer said: ‘The Isle of Man has developed an excellent new facility that is well designed to meet its function.

‘We can be proud of what we have achieved and the north of the island has gained a great asset.’

He added: ‘I hope those who use the service feel comfortable and at home, and find it a pleasant place to live.’

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