Consultation launched to improve mental health services in Richmondshire

Janet Probert, chief officer at NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group.

A 12-week consultation on improving adult and older peoples’ mental health services across the district got underway today.

Local NHS commissioners, NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (the CCG) say they want to improve mental health services in this area.

They are working the local provider of services, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), are formally consulting on three options.

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The options have been informed by clinical and patient evidence gathered since 2013 and more focused engagement on mental health since January this year.

In response to patient and carer feedback, two of the options focus on strengthening community mental health services so that more people can be supported at home.

Both these options propose that specialist inpatient care is provided in one of the Trust’s purpose designed mental health hospitals in Middlesbrough, Darlington or Bishop Auckland.

The CCG and TEWV are also putting forward a ‘do nothing’ option which would mean inpatient services would remain at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton with no additional investment in community services.

Inpatient mental health services for adults and older people are currently provided by TEWV from two wards (ward 14 and 15) in the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton. The Trust also provides a range of community mental health services.

The Care Quality Commission has raised concerns about the limitations of the environment on wards 14 and 15 at the Friarage Hospital. They reported that the dormitory style mixed sex wards impact on patients’ privacy, dignity and safety.

Janet Probert, chief officer of the CCG said: “Over recent months we have engaged extensively with over 480 service users, carers, staff, partner organisations and the wider local community about how we can improve adult and older people’s mental health services.

“People told us they want to be cared for at home, or as close to home as possible.

“They said admission to a mental health hospital should be the exception rather than the norm and that there should be more support available in the community.

“We know that some people need to spend time in hospital and the quality of the inpatient environment is extremely important.

“Patients, clinicians and inspectors from the Care Quality Commission have severely criticised the standard of accommodation on the inpatient wards at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton and we need to address this.”

Jess Williams, a member of the local service user and carer group, Phoenix, said “I have had mental health issues for over forty five years and I believe the changes that have been proposed to services in the Hambleton and Richmondshire area are extremely important to those of us who are service users.

“We need services that enable us to stay in our own homes so having access to those services every day is vitally important.

“We also want assessments to be done quickly and want to have good quality, appropriate treatment with more specialist staff and therapies available.

“We want hospitalisation to be the last resort but when needed it must be in good quality surroundings where we feel safe and secure and which enable us to get better quickly and return home.”

Elizabeth Moody, director of nursing at TEWV, said: “We want to support people to live fulfilling and meaningful lives in their community, irrespective of symptoms or diagnosis of mental illness.

“This includes making sure that we’re able to give them the specialist care and treatment they need, when and where they need it.

“We believe that strengthening community and crisis services and providing access to the nearest purpose designed inpatient accommodation for those who need it will help us do that, and this is our preferred option.

“However, it’s important that we get the views of local people and I would encourage people to get involved and have their say.”

Janet Probert added: “Please therefore come along to see us face to face at any of the locations we publicise or complete the consultation survey which will be available in both print and online from 26 June.”

 

The local NHS is consulting on the following options:

Option 1 – do nothing, i.e.:

  • maintain current level of community and crisis service:
    • community services – five days a week
    • crisis service – seven days a week (not provided for people with dementia)
  • maintain inpatient wards at the Friarage Hospital

Option 2 – Provide enhanced community and crisis services (seven days a week) to support more people at home with:

  • Specialist inpatient care for people with functional illnesses provided in nearest available appropriate bed (in one of TEWV’s adult and older people’s purpose built mental health assessment and treatment units, e.g. Roseberry Park in Middlesbrough and West Park Hospital in Darlington)
  • Specialist inpatient care for people with dementia provided in a dedicated unit (Auckland Park Hospital in Bishop Auckland)
  • No mental health inpatient services at the Friarage Hospital (money released would support investment in community services)

 

This is the preferred option based on feedback from engagement.

 

Option 3 – Provide enhanced community and crisis services (seven days a week) to support more people at home with:

  • Specialist inpatient care for people with functional illnesses provided in a single location in one of TEWV’s purpose built mental health units (either Roseberry Park in Middlesbrough or West Park Hospital in Darlington)
  • Specialist inpatient care for people with dementia provided in a dedicated unit (Auckland Park Hospital in Bishop Auckland)
  • No mental health inpatient services at the Friarage Hospital (money released would support investment in community services)

There is more information about the consultation and how to get involved on the CCG’s website:

www.hambletonrichmondshireandwhitbyccg.nhs.uk/transforming-mental-health-services

People can contact the CCG by emailing hrwccg.feedback@nhs.net or calling 01609 767600.