A PRESTWICH NHS Trust is a step closer to building a landmark, state-of-the-art mental health facility.

An Outline Business Case for a £105 million hospital wing has been formally approved by the board of directors of the Bury New Road-based Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH).

The new facility will take two years to build and could be open by autumn 2023.

It will provide 150 beds on the North Manchester General Hospital site.

Neil Thwaite, chief executive of GMMH said, “We really welcome the support we have received today to progress this ambitious project which we have wanted to embark on ever since we acquired the services in Manchester back in 2017.

"Despite the substantial investments we have made to ensure we can offer the best care possible in the current environment, we can now work towards providing vastly improved facilities which directly benefits service users, their families and carers and our staff."

The project is a major development in replacing the hospital's current mental health accommodation ­— which the Trust said is no longer appropriate for modern mental health care.

Inpatients at the hospital care currently cared for in dormitory-style environments.

This set up has been criticised for being 'unsupportive of people’s privacy and dignity'.

Conversely the new unit, has been described as 'providing a therapeutic and recovery-focussed environment, with more opportunities to deliver innovative, high quality care'.

GMMH says this will help reduce the length of stay, allow more patients to receive care closer to home, and marks a milestone in the regeneration of the North Manchester Hospital.

Mr Thwaite added: “Our staff do a fantastic job and the new unit will allow them to spend more time working with and caring for service users without having to find time-consuming and limiting work-arounds due to the constraints of the environment."

This week GMMH's board has formally approved IHP ­— a joint venture between VINCI Construction UK and Sir Robert McAlpine ­— as its principal supply chain partner for the project.

IHP was previously heavily involved in delivering the Manchester NHS Nightingale Hospital.

Garry Bowker, VINCI Construction UK regional director, said he was delighted by the decision.

He added: "It’s a privilege to be involved in a project that will make such a positive impact to the lives of service users, carers and staff and we are really excited to be a part of it."

Before the work can begin, the project will now be subject to approval of the Full Business Case by NHS England & Improvement.