£3.6m overhaul for The Orchards unit

The Orchards care unit.
The Orchards care unit.

A mental health facility in Ripon is to receive a £3.6m makeover to create a specialist in-patient rehabilitation unit for the people of the Harrogate, Hambleton and Richmondshire districts.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health services in the area, is developing The Orchards on Princess Close to provide the new facility.

The extensively refurbished accommodation will contain nine en-suite bedrooms as well as a single bedsit style apartment.

Adele Coulthard, the trust’s director of operations for North Yorkshire, said: “Mental health rehabilitation services have changed dramatically over recent years.

“The focus today is on working with individuals to develop the skills they need to lead as independent and socially inclusive life as 
possible. The current unit in Harrogate, Abdale House, is far from ideal – none of the bedrooms are en-suite and there is limited day space.

“This development will provide much improved and more spacious accommodation for service users and staff.”

Modern facilities for occupational therapy will be included so that staff can help service users develop the skills they need for living more independently.

Ripon’s adult mental health community team will also have a number of consulting rooms at the unit.

Mental health services have been provided at the unit since 1989.

The Orchards care unit was closed as an in-patient and respite care facility for the elderly mentally ill by health bosses in October 2006. Most recently it has been home to the community and primary mental health teams as well as wheelchair services, who will move to Harrogate temporarily while the building work is going on.

The work is due to start in May and will be finished 12 months later when the service will move to Ripon from Abdale House in Harrogate.

Local people are being given the opportunity to learn more about the trust’s plans at two drop-in sessions which are taking place at The Orchards on Wednesday, April 9, from 2-4pm, and Saturday, April 12, from 10am- noon.