Additional Government funding of $102.8 million has been approved for four new inpatient units at the Mason Clinic in Point Chevalier – the forensic psychiatry service operated by Waitematā DHB for the metro Auckland and Northland populations.
The funding is in addition to $60 million announced in 2020 for the new E Tū Wairua Hinengaro building, the footprint of which can now be expanded to include:
• Three storeys with a ground floor area of around 10,000 square metres – almost double that of the existing facilities being replaced;
• A total of 60 inpatient beds, allowing the final patients to be moved from ageing units affected by long-term weather-tightness issues and enabling closure of the Totara, Kauri and Rata units;
• A new high-secure unit;
• A negative pressure environment of up to 15 beds, providing greater capacity to safely care for patients on-site in the event of future pandemic outbreaks;
• Two new low-secure units and one new medium-secure unit; and
• Secure internal courtyards, therapeutic activity spaces and facilities for staff training.
E Tū Wairua Hinengaro will be built on recently acquired land on the northern end of the Mason Clinic campus. Design features will support contemporary models of care, with greater emphasis on privacy, dignity and wellbeing, with access to elements of the natural world.
Works are expected to start in the first half of 2023, with construction likely to be completed in late 2025. The build will be carried out to Greenstar Level 5 specifications – the highest sustainability rating, with the design incorporating cultural elements to support the wellbeing of tāngata whai i te ora (service-users).
Waitematā DHB CEO Dr Dale Bramley said the development was part of the ongoing renaissance and expansion of the Mason Clinic site, following the opening of the E Tū Tanekaha and Te Aka units in April 2021 and August 2017 respectively.
“The new E Tū Wairua Hinengaro unit will support our people to do their best work. This facility will lead to better patient outcomes and improved experience for all service-users, whānau who visit and our staff,” he said.
“It will be a wonderful addition to our Mason Clinic campus that will enable us to provide quality care for people of the Northern Region with serious mental illness who may be involved in the criminal justice system for many years to come.”
The Clinical Director of the Mason Clinic, Dr Krishna Pillai, said: “This funding announcement is an important milestone on an exciting journey of co-design and planning begun many years ago with clear vision and values.
“The services we are building now are for the people of the future and set a course for the next generation of forensic mental health practitioners and service-users.”