Will moving Metal Health Services solve underlying vital issues?

From: Dave Walsh, Rotherfield Avenue, Bexhill-on-Sea

Friday, 18th June 2021, 9:38 am
Site of the proposed new campus
Site of the proposed new campus

The Observer reports regularly on plans to open a “state of the art” mental health campus in East Sussex (eg ‘Preferred’ site for campus’ 4/6/21).

A greenfield site, close to Wrestwood Road in Bexhill seems to be the current favourite.

Subject to county council scrutiny, the proposals will go out to “consultation” at the end of June. I suspect that the die may have been cast as soon as the money (£400 million?) was put forward to accompany a government directive requiring health authorities to shut all existing “dormitory” style ward accommodation by March 2024 (about 32 months away). Although, like care in the community, this appears to be a highly progressive development at first, with it’s 54 high quality single rooms, we were told that the net level of service provision may well be less, at first, than it is now-in six years time!

Mental health is an urgent health crisis nationally in itself and especially post Covid. Set against the extraordinary demand that all emergency services face daily with mental health referrals [not just the heavily overstretched NHS] and the ongoing difficulties related to obtaining/retaining specialist mental health workers, is a centralised forward planning schema necessarily the right approach?

There are many other questions that can be asked about the actual service to patients.

Meanwhile, the inevitable, but important, debate about which site to choose should not be deployed as a handy distraction from the vital treatment issues that will still exist, with or without the building of a campus.

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