A milestone in the construction of the new £4.4 million intensive psychiatric care unit (IPCU) at Stratheden Hospital near Cupar was reached when First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joined NHS Fife chief executive Paul Hawkins in a sod-cutting ceremony.
Construction of the eight-bed IPCU is the latest phase of works to modernise large areas of the hospital, which cares for patients with mental illness from across Fife.
The building will include a communal lounge and rooms for rehabilitative and therapeutic activities.
Patients will each have single en-suite bedrooms, offering more privacy, while there will also be access to an outdoor courtyard and private meeting rooms for visits from family or friends.
Ms Sturgeon said: “This unit is the latest in a series of improvements to modernise the hospital which cares for people from across Fife.
“The Scottish Government is investing over £2 billion in Scotland’s health infrastructure over the spending review period, with this development being one of many that demonstrate the Scottish Government’s commitment to continually improving health services.
“Mental health services are an absolute priority of this Government and we have been investing heavily for a number of years in mental health provision.
“We have also recently announced our £100 million Mental Health Innovation fund, which is targeting additional investment over the next five years. This new funding will make a real difference to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”
Mr Hawkins said: “Improving mental health facilities is one of NHS Fife’s key priorities and a great deal of work has been undertaken over recent years to modernise much of the Stratheden Hospital site.
“We are determined that our patients receive the highest quality care in modern, safe, secure and therapeutic environments.”
Ms Sturgeon also visited Elmwood College golf course, where she learned about a US summer student exchange programme under way. She celebrated “all the good things” about Fife.
From there she visited Cupar Youth Cafe with Louise Macdonald from Young Scot, to publicise the i-Rights initiative to protect young people online.
She also met with some of the young people who attend the Youth Cafe and heard about the work of the centre.