"Caring for Patients and Staff? Or simply cutting the service to the bones to save money?"
About: Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust Adult mental health PR5 6AW
Posted by Blackbird (as ),
As a staff member I wish to share my concern about the future of our Mental Health Services. Particularly those for older people. Also for the way the Trust is treating the staff.
Very soon Ridge Lea will close and some of the service users will move into the Oaklands Unit. This is a Unit originally designed for older service users with organic illness. It was then changed to accomodate older people (those over 65 years) with functional Mental Health problems. Now the Unit is to be altered once more to accomodate people from 18 upwards. The two services will become one. These client groups can have very different needs and the possibility of a serious incident occuring is one of the concerns of staff.
Beds have been greatly reduced the idea being that service users will be looked after in the community. Very often it is the home environment that is making the mental health problems worse. It is my understanding that there are very few people - staff or service users - who feel this is a positive move forward yet still LCT forge ahead with their plans. I believe that staff members are reluctant to voice their opinions for fear of being seen as negative. The result is that we become of culture of 'yes men' - afraid to say what we truly believe.
Inpatient staff will very soon be working 12 hour days. This works well for some people. However for some it is impossible. These people have worked faithfully for 20 or more years. Those who are unable to change their home arrangements are now being encouraged to find another job.
The majority of staff love their jobs and those who are allowed to will continue to give the best care they possibly can despite the struggle to staff the wards to a safe level. Despite the fact, I feel, that no one is listening to us.
I believe that LCT care more about saving money and keeping managers in jobs and less about the well being of service users. Even less about the well being of their staff.
I don't expect this to be published. I would however like somebody with some influence and courage - to do something about it.