Maureen Watt MSP, Minister for Mental Health, paid a special visit to Ayrshire on Tuesday 5 September 2017 to officially open Woodland View in Irvine.
Ms Watt was welcomed to the stunning £46million facility in the grounds of Ayrshire Central Hospital in Irvine, which first opened its doors to patients in May 2016.
She officially unveiled the new signage which now welcomes people coming through the main doors. Ms Watt was introduced to some Glebe Primary School pupils who had created artwork for the community gallery on display in the facility’s corridors. Ms Watt also met some patients and staff in one of the rehabilitation areas.
Dr Martin Cheyne, Chairman of Ayrshire and Arran NHS Board, welcomed everyone to the unveiling ceremony. He said: “We are delighted that Ms Watt could join us today to officially open Woodland View.
“I am truly in awe of what everyone has achieved in Woodland View. From the very outset people came together willingly and with enthusiasm to make this building the very best it could be.
“It was only with their dedication throughout the design and construction periods that we have this magnificent building which I am so pleased to say has become a successful part of the community and provides a caring and safe environment for our patients, visitors, volunteers and staff.
“We are all rightly proud of this new building. But we are also very proud of the services we provide within it. Staff and volunteers provide the very best care for all our patients and are making a very real difference to the lives of our patients. And I would like to thank each and every one of them for their commitment and devotion. Without them we would simply have a building. They are the heart of our service and we appreciate everything they do.”
Maureen Watt MSP, Minister for Mental Health, said: “I last visited Woodland View in November 2016 and I am delighted to be back, this time to mark the official opening. I look forward to hearing about all of the excellent work that has been going on since my last visit.
“Prevention and early intervention and the wellbeing of children and young people is a key theme of our new Mental Health Strategy, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing the proposals for the new National Forensic Adolescent Services Centre. This innovative and forward looking development - providing specialist care for young people and children with complex needs - will be the first of its kind in Scotland.
“I look forward to seeing the Business Case on of this from NHS Ayrshire and Arran.”
Construction on Woodland View began in 2014 and was completed in 2016 within 20 months. This followed an extensive period of planning and designing the facility which involved members of the public, patients, staff, and volunteers.
Woodland View building partners, Balfour Beatty along with the architects, IBI Group, responsible for the design were in attendance at the official opening. They were joined by the facility’s art co-ordinators who worked with patients, the community and members of the public to choose and produce the stunning artwork on display throughout the building.
Woodland View has since become a multi-award winning project. In 2016 it won the Building Better Healthcare: Best Mental Health Development Award.
And further success followed in 2017 when it won the ‘Best Mental Health Design’ category at the European Healthcare Design (EHD) awards.
Stephen Brown, Interim Director for North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, commented: “Woodland View is an exemplar state of the art community facility and its greatest success is the hugely positive impact the building, surroundings, staff and quality of care is having on people in Woodland View. The local community has been involved from the design stage and now Woodland View volunteers proudly welcome patients and visitors to this truly inclusive paradigm of mental healthcare.”