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New summer house set to enhance learning disabilities unit

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A Swansea Bay assessment unit, for people with learning disabilities, has improved its facilities thanks to a new summer house.

The addition, built in the grounds of Llwyneryr Learning Disabilities Unit in Morriston, offers patients a space for time away from the main hub to relax and meet families.

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The project has been financed by the health board’s Swansea Bay Health Charity.

Sian Dolling, Directorate Manager of Swansea Learning Disabilities, said the new space would make a huge difference to the acute admissions unit that provides short term patient assessment and intervention services for adults with learning disabilities.

Sian, who wanted to thank the charitable funds team for its support, said: “The service has eight bedrooms with one lounge, and several smaller rooms, but no other areas on the ward where the patients can go to.

“Having a summer house, which they can use all year round, is going to make a huge difference.

“It can give patients time and space away from others in the unit. Because it’s an assessment and admissions unit, the patients may not always get on so getting out of the lounge area, from time to time, is quite important.

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“It’s basically a sitting room in which they can do activities, such as drawing and colouring, and also a place where they can have family visits. It’s a much nicer environment during the day and evening times for themselves and family visits.”

The construction work was carried out by local firm BAPTT Ltd over the course of last month.

Sian said: “BAPTT were brilliant in terms of working under Covid restrictions – they were able to carry on working because it is outside. The work has been completed really quickly and the workmen, have been fantastic.

“We have quite a large garden and the area it has been built on was quite boggy and not really used much before.”

Rebecca Thomas, unit manager, said: “The staff, including Mathew Knight and Lucian Scutea, who were pertinent in getting the project through, all agree how much of a difference having this as a separate space is going to make.”

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Deborah Longman, Head of Fundraising, said: “The past few years have really taught us the importance of focussing on well-being.

“Using the generous donations we have received from the public really allows us to focus on innovations which enhance the care we can provide our patients.

“This summer house is a magnificent addition to the Llwyneryr Learning Disabilities service, and will allow patients to spend time away from a ward environment, which has proven well-being benefits.”

Lead image: Staff member Matthew Knight outside the new summer house (Image:Swansea Bay NHS)

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