Maudsley Health Abu Dhabi’s adult outpatient clinic opened by Britain's Prince Andrew

Facility expands from child and adolescent psychiatric care with plans to develop further

ABU DHABI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , OCT 3  ��� 2017 : -  Prince Andrew , Duke of York ( left ) ,  Roger Paffard , South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust ( 3rd from right ) and  HE Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohamed Al Hamed , Health Authority Abu Dhabi ( right ) during the unveiling ceremony of  Maudsley Health Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi.  ( Pawan Singh / The National ) Story by Shareena Al Nuwais

One of the UK’s leading psychiatric hospitals, with the largest centre for research and post-graduate education, has officially opened an adult outpatient clinic in Abu Dhabi.

Britain’s Duke of York, Prince Andrew, yesterday officially opened the adult outpatient clinic at Maudsley Health Abu Dhabi.

The British ambassador to the UAE, Philip Parham, was pleased a member of the Royal family was able to be in attendance.

“I am delighted that His Royal Highness has been able to mark the latest UK contribution to strengthening health services in Abu Dhabi,” he said.

“Maudsley Health, like other UK operators, is making a real difference to the lives of families and the wider community in this region.”

While only a fraction of the size of the Maudsley Hospital in Camberwell, London, which first opened in 1915, the current Abu Dhabi set-up is only the beginning, according to Dr Martin Baggaley, chief medical officer at Maudsley Health Abu Dhabi.

“Maudsley Health Abu Dhabi continues the proud tradition of the oldest psychiatric institution in the world by providing high-quality treatment, research and training in mental health,” he said. “We look forward to bringing forward more of our expertise as Maudsley Health expands its services and facilities beyond Abu Dhabi and the greater GCC region.”

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Currently the team consists of about two dozen psychiatrists and psychologists that were brought in from the UK. However, Dr Baggaley recognises the need for local expertise.

“We have a team that we brought in from the UK as well as visiting specialists to supplement this team but we recognise the needs of the UAE can only be meet by local workforce so one of the other things we are very keen on is training and building capacity.”

To help in recruiting such a workforce, Maudsley is working on building partnerships for training and development.

“We come from a very academic institution and are in discussions with local providers. There is no way we can bring enough staff from the UK so what we want to do is develop partnerships with local institutions,” Dr Baggaley said.

The modest start for Maudsley in the capital is intentional, he said, and there are ambitious plans to expand and provide psychiatric inpatient care, which is currently restricted to government hospitals.

“I don’t want to compromise quality. We deliberately started small. We have much more ambitious plans and would like to work with partners to see how we can expand,” Dr Baggaley said.

Maudsley Health is a joint venture between South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Macani Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi. Healthcare has been identified by the British government as one of the key means of investing in the UAE, with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust forging ahead with the development of mental health services in the country.

“It is an honour for us to host HRH the Duke of York on this momentous occasion, which serves as an opportunity for us to showcase our commitment to raising awareness of, and leading, the national discourse on the impact of mental health issues in communities across the UAE,” Dr Baggaley added.

Maudsley Health Abu Dhabi opened in 2015 to offer quality mental healthcare and wellbeing to children and adolescents. This year it started providing an adult outpatient mental health clinic in the same building as its child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS), based in the capital’s busy Khalidiya area.

The facility will host the Maudsley Health Annual Conference on October 13.