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The Priory Hospital Woodbourne has expanded to cope with demand for its mental health services, enabling more people living locally to be treated closer to home.

The nine-bed ward is already treating patients, and will enable those suffering from a wide variety of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder to receive expert treatment in Edgbaston.

The £1.25m investment represents significant investment by Priory Healthcare in services at the site. As part of the investment, 25 new posts have also been created.

The new Manor Ward is a private in-patient facility, providing treatment for both men and women over the age of 18 in a safe and modern environment.

The hospital, which is rated 'good' by the industry regulator, the Care Quality Commission, also provides child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and a specialist eating disorder service.

Its expert team comprises consultant psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and therapists.

Medical Director and Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Arshad Mahmood said; "Here, at The Priory Hospital Woodbourne, we specialise in the management and treatment of many mental health conditions." We have established an excellent reputation for providing the highest standards of care and have a great team of extremely qualified and compassionate staff, as well as many visiting consultants who we're delighted to work alongside.

"This new private ward will allow us to look after more people who are perhaps in need of a slightly longer stay during their treatment plan, rather than simply coming to see our experts on a daily, outpatient basis. We will be offering a range of therapeutic options, developed to aid the recovery of our patients and to help them feel better quicker, in a discreet and nurturing setting."

Recent figures revealed that the number of people suffering depression in Birmingham and the Black Country is on the rise.

Some 165,194 people in the area were diagnosed with depression in 2015-16, according to the NHS. That equals about eight per cent of all adults registered to a GP and marks a big increase on the numbers seen the year before.

In 2014-15, just 146,568 people in Birmingham and the Black Country were dealing with the mental illness. Some areas in the region have higher rates than others, too. There are 24,277 living in Dudley with depression, or about one in 10 adults. In Sandwell and West Birmingham, the figure is seven per cent - the equivalent of one in every 15 people.

These figures only represent people who have been diagnosed with depression; many more suffer in silence.

The Priory offers tailored treatment programmes for individuals suffering with depression. There are a number of specialist Consultant Psychiatrists who oversee treatment, which may include a combination of both medication and psychological therapies.

Hospital Director, Sally Yandle, said; "Positive outcomes are at the very heart of the services we offer at Woodbourne and we are pleased that the new Manor Ward has given us the opportunity to reach out to more local patients in need of our specialist and expert help.

"We are all very aware of the need for greater resources and 'more beds' in the Midlands, and as such we are proud that we are in a position to broaden our services so we can see more patients and help them in their journey towards a strong recovery."

She added: "Whatever challenges people may be facing, or whatever the cause of their mental ill health, we want them to be able to make a full recovery in their own time and, ideally, as close to home as possible and in familiar surroundings."

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