A BRAND new £12 million psychiatric intensive care unit was opened today at Harperbury Hospital on the edge of St Albans.

The Harper Lane psychiatric hospital's new Oak and Beech units were opened by NHS East of England’s chief executive Sir Neil McKay.

He said: “This impressive new building shows the high standards of care that Hertfordshire aims to provide for people with mental health problems.”

Tom Cahill, chief executive of the Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust, which will run the units, said: “This project has been five years in the making.

“Those who use these facilities will have the benefit of superb therapeutic surroundings. The new units set a quality benchmark for future mental health care developments in Hertfordshire, and more widely.”