Macclesfield MP David Rutley has written to more than twenty local town and parish councils to seek their support in highlighting concerns about proposed changes to specialist adult and older people’s mental health services in Cheshire East.
The changes to services are being put forward by Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Trust (CWP), and a consultation on the proposals is now entering its final month.
CWP’s preferred option would see the closure of the Millbrook Unit in Macclesfield, and lead to the transfer of the last remaining adult mental health beds in Cheshire East to hospitals in Chester and the Wirral.
This would mean that patients from Macclesfield, and the surrounding communities, would have to travel to the other side of the county for treatment.
Mr Rutley continues his opposition to this element of the proposals, and has re-iterated his calls on CWP to come forward with options to serve patients in north-east Cheshire whilst keeping them close to their families.
David has asked local town and parish councils – along with charities and residents – to make representations as part of the ongoing consultation, which is open until 29th May.
The consultation can be accessed online at: www.easterncheshireccg.nhs.uk/Your-Views/ccg-consultations.htm
Additionally, two further consultation meetings will be held in Macclesfield.
The first is at Macclesfield Town Football Club on Thursday 3rd May (2.30 – 5pm), and the second, also at Macclesfield Town Football Club, is on Thursday 23rd May (6.30 – 8.30pm).
Anyone attending can ask questions to local health service managers as well as raise their concerns about the proposals.
Dr Teresa Strefford, clinical director for commissioning at NHS South Cheshire CCG and NHS Vale Royal CCG, said: “Most people can be supported very effectively in the community with the right range of services.
“95 per cent of the 7,000 people we currently support with specialist mental health needs receive that care in the community and we want to improve it.
“The new model of care we are proposing would provide new services so that there is better access for people to help keep them well and active in the community.
“It would also provide much greater choice of services for those in, or at risk of, crisis, and support people with dementia and those who care for them to stay in their own surroundings.”
The consultation runs from 6th March 2018 to 29th May 2018 and no decision will be made until after the consultation findings have been fully considered.
The options being considered are:
Option 1 – do not introduce the proposed new model of care. In this option there would be no prospect of improvement or development of the following services: community care, crisis care/choice of service, or dementia outreach unless funding was taken/diverted from other current local NHS services.
Option 2 – (CWP’s preferred option) improve community and home treatment (crisis) teams, provide local crisis beds within the community, older people’s inpatient care at Lime Walk House, Macclesfield and adult inpatient care at Bowmere, Chester.
Option 3 – improve community and home treatment (crisis) teams, provide local crisis beds within the community, provide adult inpatient care at Lime Walk House, Macclesfield and older people’s inpatient care at Bowmere, Chester.
David said: “With a month to go until the consultation closes, it is vital that as many local residents, charities and local community groups, including our much-valued local councils, have their say on the future of adult mental health services in Cheshire East.
“I hope that yet more people will join the campaign to keep adult mental health beds in Macclesfield.
“I will continue to work with other local MPs, Fiona Bruce and Esther McVey, who share my concerns about the current proposals, and also East Cheshire Mental Health Forum, to seek a more positive outcome for local mental health patients in the months ahead.”
David also highlighted an online petition launched by East Cheshire Mental Health Forum, calling on local health leaders not to go ahead with the proposals to remove the last remaining inpatient beds from Cheshire East.