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Health Matters - Last chance to comment on mental health redesign

Health Matters - Last chance to comment on mental health redesign
05 December 2018

Dr Ian Hulme, GP with Meadowside Medical Centre, Congleton and clinical lead for mental health, NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group

I’m delighted that the local NHS has approved plans to transform care in Eastern Cheshire, South Cheshire and Vale Royal for people who experience severe mental ill health. The decision will pave the way for greatly enhanced community services including a dementia outreach service, 24/7 crisis service and crisis care beds.

The care model approved by the governing bodies of NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG, NHS South Cheshire CCG and NHS Vale Royal CCG has been reconfigured to respond to many of the concerns raised during a 12-week public consultation by retaining the majority of inpatient beds in Eastern Cheshire while still introducing all of the new community services.

These enhanced community services focus on early intervention and prevention in order to support people with severe mental health problems to lead fulfilling lives in their communities.

The inpatient beds in the Millbrook Unit on the Macclesfield Hospital site will be re-provided and replaced by 47 local beds designed to the latest modern standards, meeting privacy and dignity requirements set out by the Care Quality Commission.

Of the 47 beds there will be:

  • 26 beds for adults and older people in Lime Walk House, Macclesfield
  • 15 beds for people with dementia in the former Complex Assessment and Recovery Services (CARS) ward, Macclesfield
  • six local crisis beds.

Together with the enhanced local community support, a further seven beds for people with very complex needs – bringing the total re-provided beds to 54 – will be provided in Chester and Wirral.

Importantly, this improved care model has one element that was not included in the options consulted on, and that is the proposal to relocate 13 rehabilitation beds to Bowmere Hospital in Chester instead of the Soss Moss facility, Nether Alderley. The rehabilitation beds are currently situated in Lime Walk House. Engagement with service users and carers has indicated they would prefer to move to Bowmere Hospital in Chester than the Soss Moss site. Bowmere is close to the city centre and already has modern rehabilitation facilities while Soss Moss is more rural and would have required substantial refurbishment to bring it up to standard.

The CCGs are holding a further four-week consultation until 21 December (a week on Friday). Following consideration, any subsequent amendments agreed by the consulting partners will be reflected in the chosen model, Option 2 Plus, and progressed to implementation.

You can comment by emailing or calling 01625 663477.