Posted by Bobbie Walkem-Smith at 20/11/2013 19:50:18
Statement from NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (on behalf of all the clinical commissioning groups in Kent and Medway) and Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT).
We are pleased that the Health Secretary has today announced that he has accepted the Independent Reconfiguration Panel recommendation to approve the NHS plan to improve how inpatient services are provided for people in Kent and Medway experiencing a mental health crisis.
Ian Ayres, chief officer of NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This is good news for people in Kent and Medway who can now look forward to significant improvements in local services for patients in mental health crisis.
“This gives us the go-ahead to increase the number of acute beds available to 174 (14 more beds than are currently commissioned and 24 more than in the original proposal) and develop three centres of excellence in Dartford, Canterbury and Maidstone.
“People who experience mental health crisis deserve the very best support so we will now move forward with plans to close Medway’s A Block, where the quality of the environment impacts on patient safety, patient experience and recovery times.
"We will act on the recommendations of the Panel to clarify to patients and carers what they can expect from the centres of excellence and community crisis care and we will provide more detail of the transport plan."
Angela McNab, chief executive of KMPT, said: “We are very pleased to have the backing of the Health Secretary for this plan. This will ensure that everyone who needs inpatient mental health crisis care in Kent and Medway receives it in in modern, fit for purpose accommodation designed to meet their needs and promote recovery.
“We now plan to implement the changes and we anticipate patients will start to move out of one of the wards in A Block in December.
“This has been a prolonged process, culminating in the referral to Secretary of State and the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, and this has added to the uncertainty for service users and carers.
"In the meantime, we have been strengthening community services for people in mental health crisis and are completing recruitment to new posts in these teams. We have drawn up a transport plan for service users and carers affected by the move and will ensure they can access volunteer transport.
“We have also introduced a Psychiatric Intensive Care outreach service in East Kent to mirror the very effective service already available in west Kent and Medway and we will be centralising Psychiatric Intensive Care inpatient beds at Dartford from next month.”