Address the serious shortfall in provision of Mental Health Services in Cheshire East
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Statement of concerns:
These can be summarized as follows;
1) The mental health inpatient unit based at Leighton Hospital was closed in 2010 when it was described as “not fit for purpose”. This left the Millbrook Unit in Macclesfield as the only Adult & Older Peoples inpatient facility in Cheshire East.
2) A “Community Mental Health Services Redesign” took place in 2012 resulting in approximately £4.0m being removed from the Community Services budget in Cheshire East. Despite resulting in a reduction in the number of psychiatrists and nurses based in Cheshire East, service users and their carers were promised “better care for less money”.
3) It is now being proposed that yet another review and likely “Redesign of Adult & Older Peoples Mental Health Services” takes place later this year. Proposals under consideration include either the total or partial closure of the last remaining mental health hospital in Cheshire East, namely the Millbrook unit as mentioned in 1 above. Current proposals would, at best, result in critically ill patients being transported across Cheshire to a hospital in Chester. Significant travelling times, stress and expenditure, would be incurred by both service users and their carers.
4) Plans to build a new “fit for purpose” mental health hospital, including intensive care facilities, in Central Cheshire have disappeared from the local service providers' strategic plans. Indeed the £30m accrued from cumulative surpluses have now been spent mainly in Chester and on the Wirral.
5) In terms of spend per head of population on mental health East Cheshire CCG, South Cheshire CCG and Vale Royal CCG came in at numbers 190,192 and 195 respectively, out of the 210 CCGs surveyed nationally in 2013/14. These three local Clinical Commissioning Groups spend approximately 25% less per head of population on mental health than the national average. (Source: Commons Written Question No. 8604, September 2015).
6) Government Policy as set out in “The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health” aims to achieve “Parity of Esteem” between mental health and physical health by 2020/21. Commissioners are tasked with continuing “to increase investment in mental health services each year at a level which at least matches their overall expenditure increase”. (Source: Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, August 2015).
What do we want the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to do?
1) Visit www.doyoumind.co.uk website to get a greater awareness of the issues concerning those impacted by mental health throughout Cheshire East.
2) Take note of the short and long term financial estimates, for both capital and ongoing funding that will be necessary to meet the National objectives outlined in “The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health”.
3) Commit to increasing investment in mental health services each year, in each CCG, at a level that at least matches their overall expenditure increase.
4) Do not allow the last remaining inpatient unit in Cheshire East for Adults & Older People to be closed!
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