Issue 31

A look back to Issue 12 of the Caswell Chat in 2004 which celebrated the opening of the new build with this Editorial :

Welcome to the New Caswell Clinic

Before looking forward it may be worth looking back for one last time.

I remember the initial meeting I had with Dr. Chris Hunter, Barry Topping-Morris and Robert Goodwin to begin the planning for the Interim Secure Unit in Glanrhyd in 1991/92. We looked for some run down and vacant buildings at Glanrhyd Hospital known as Caswell Ward. From these humble surroundings, we could envisage the beginning of a new service to cover the South Wales area. The service started from a modest beginning of some 19 beds against a predicted shortfall of about 60.

It became obvious soon after the Unit was commissioned that demand would outstrip the beds available and eventually following much negotiation and further building, we increased to 33 beds. The problem was that, whilst we were pleased with our progress, the Unit remained what it was – interim, and the target of around 60 beds was still not fulfilled. The goal, however, remained a purpose designed facility. It was not until around 2000 that the petitioning and hard negotiations paid off and the prospect of a new Unit became a reality. This gave staff and patients the hope that at long last we would see a new beginning.

The planning seemed to take forever. Along the way we received the go ahead for a further 14 bed extension for longer term patients, bringing the final bed compliment to 64. The wait was worth-while, with a building and finish which is literally world class. The Board is indebted to the staff and patients who contributed their creative energies into helping shape the new building. We are now on course to open the new Unit in 2005.

The past is behind us the future is here for us to shape. We can be proud of our new building but it's not the bricks and mortar that matter, but the people within. Well done and best wishes for the future.

Paul Williams, (Then Chief Executive)