IT IS unlikely Tamworth hospital's mental health unit will be upgraded before the end of the year as consultation and planning draws on.
There is quiet confidence locally funding for a rebuilt unit will be in the NSW budget, but a final plan for a new Banksia is yet to be finalised.
However, a recent meeting with the mental health carers support group and Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson suggested it could be built on a new location and absorb the services currently provided in Dean House.
Di Wyatt, through her work with the support group, has worked closely with Hunter New England Health through the consultation process.
She said it would be unlikely to see the upgrade carried out in 2019.
"Maybe the beginning of it, maybe the planning of the building, that is what I am hoping for," Mrs Wyatt said.
"I don't think we will see the building started because that does take time."
While, Mrs Wyatt was troubled initially by the amount of time taken to get to this phase, she said the job had to be done right.
"We need to get it right or we're not going to have the right mental health unit," she said.
"We'll end up with something, in a few of years time, everybody is going to be complaining about."
In last year's state budget, the government pledged $700 million for mental health facilities including an upgrade for Tamworth.
However, an amount for the Banksia work has never been disclosed.
Mr Anderson was adamant Tamworth remained on the list and "the next part of the fight" was figuring out the final cost.
"We're hoping, toward the end of this year, we will have something to look at in terms of the service delivery, what the facility looks like and we have to find a location," Mr Anderson said.
"We had the mental health commissioner in Tamworth the other day which again highlights the importance of what's happening on the ground here."