Alongside members of East Cheshire Mental Health Forum, local MP David Rutley has delivered a petition (signed by over 2,800 local residents) to NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, calling on local health service leaders to commit to retaining adult inpatient mental health beds in Macclesfield.
NHS ECCCG and Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the local mental health service provider, consulted earlier this year on proposals to transfer the last remaining adult inpatient beds from Macclesfield’s Millbrook Unit to an expanded facility at Bowmere Hospital in Chester.
This means patients could face a round trip of over eighty miles to receive treatment.
Along with other local MPs, Fiona Bruce and Esther McVey, as well as East Cheshire Mental Health Forum chair Michael Heale, David has consistently campaigned against the proposals and continues to urge local health service leaders to bring forward more acceptable options for patients, and their families and carers.
David took the opportunity presented by the petition handover to reiterate his to Dr Mike Clark, deputy clinical chair, and Jerry Hawker, chief officer, at NHS ECCCG.
On accepting the petition, Dr Clarke and Mr Hawker emphasised to Mr Rutley that no decisions had yet been taken about the shape and scope of future services.
NHS ECCCG is taking time to consider all the feedback provided to the recent public consultation before next steps are decided (read more).
The petition handover, also attended by Macclesfield town councillor Alift Harewood, took place ahead of ECCCG’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Macclesfield Town Hall.
The AGM provided an opportunity for local residents to ask questions about the local NHS trust’s clinical priorities – a number of attendees, including David Rutley, also asked questions concerning the future of local mental health services.
Michael Heale, chair of East Cheshire Mental Health Forum, said: “We all hope for something positive to happen. I hope that the Clinical Commissioning Group is listening!”
David added: “As the strong response to the petition clearly demonstrates, there is widespread concern across local communities about the proposals to move the last remaining adult inpatient beds in East Cheshire to Chester.
“It is vital that local health service leaders reflect on this clear strength of public opinion and bring forward improved proposals that would enable local patients to receive treatment within their local community, and closer to their families and carers.
“Local residents can be assured that I will continue to campaign to this vital end.”