A NEW ward for Huddersfield people with mental health issues has opened – in Dewsbury.

Huddersfield no longer has beds for people needing mental health treatment after St Luke’s Hospital at Crosland Moor closed on New Year’s Eve.

All the services have been transferred to Dewsbury and District Hospital and Halifax.

The new 30-bed Priestley unit in Dewsbury was opened yesterday by Major of Kirklees, Clr Andrew Palfreeman. It will provide services for the elderly.

Inpatient services for adults has moved to the Dales Unit in Halifax.

Chief executive Steven Michael said: “We want to ensure people who need to use inpatient services are able to access them in the right place, at the right time and benefit from the best care environment available to help them live a life to the full.

“This redesign at ward 19 has enabled us to meet the needs of people who use the service and provide facilities that our staff are proud to work in.”

The new ward has 30 beds and is aimed at older people. There are single rooms and increased space in the lounges.

The decor is bright after research shows it is beneficial to people with mental health problems.

It also boasts the latest technology with room sensors for those at risk of falling, while a multi-sensory room is designed to reduce stress and anxiety.

The changes came after the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust made the decision to close St Luke’s in 2006.

The oldest part of the hospital dates back to 1872 but it was becoming difficult to maintain.

A base for the community services, which is around 98% of the Trust’s contact services, has been moved to Folly Hall Mill, just outside Huddersfield town centre ring road.

The St Luke’s Hospital site is being regenerated in partnership with Henry Boot Developments Ltd.

Operating on a 50/50 split, the joint organisation would have an equal say in decision making and distribute the profits equally.

It is intended the partnership will invest to make the most of opportunities on the vacant land and plough back profits into health services and the Acre Mill site at Lindley.