"Mental Health Resourse Centre Weekend Closures"

About: North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust / Adult mental health North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust / Crisis resolution

(as a service user),

I am a service user of Lymebrook mental health resource centre and I will not be able to access services at the weekend, if and when I have a crisis.

At the moment if I do have a crisis I am able to telephone the centre and I can talk to one of the very experienced staff who are able to talk me through my crisis. If they are unable to help me they would refer me to someone that can. Without their support I am not sure what will happen to me. I may slip backward from recovery.

If it was not for the wonderful staff at Lymebrook, I would not be on the road to recovery. I have been lucky to have got such a wonderful team whom I cannot thank enough for helping me to get well. From my Doctor, Mary, Gill and not forgeting my CPN Sheila. There are also the clerical staff who have been brilliant when i have spoken to them.

I have been told by other service users that the work done at the centre will be done by the crisis team, oh sorry the home treatment team. I for one have no faith in this team and I don't think they will be able cope. I think money spent on this course of action will be a waste as i believe it is the wrong way to use the small amount of money you recieve from the government. I feel that the mental health services are already the cinderella service of the NHS. So please spend the money wisely.

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Response from PPI Lead, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you for taking the time to feedback on the Patient Opinion website. It was good to hear that you found the staff wonderful at Lymebrook and we will be passing your kind comments onto them.

With regard to the concerns you have raised; this is being discussed with relevant staff and following these discussions we will get back to you with their response.

Response from North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust

We are sorry to hear that you have concerns relating to the weekend closure of the Lymebrook Resource Centre and the support that would be available to you at this time.

Currently our resource centres are under-utilised at a weekend and are not proving to be value for money. We are spending on average £120k per month on agency bank staff to cover vacant shifts elsewhere. Closing the centres at a weekend will allow us to redeploy staff to other wards, for example the acute wards at Harplands Hospital, thereby reducing the need to employ bank staff, and makes better use of our own resources.

Please be assured that we will do everything we can to support you when Lymebrook is closed. We are planning alternative ways to ensure out of hours support is available for those who may require it. Some of this support will be through the Crisis Resolution/Home Treatment Team which works 24 hours, 7 days a week. We are also exploring ways of ensuring staff from the Resource Centres, such as Lymebrook, work alongside the Crisis Resolution/Home Treatment Team and other 24-hour services provided by the Trust to ensure telephone support is available. Service users and carers will be involved in reviewing and developing how these services will be developed and opportunities to get involved with this will be promoted during the coming weeks.

Developments will also be cascaded through your care co-ordinator and if you have any issues, please raise them with your care co-ordinator initially. We will do all we can to ensure that you receive the support you require.

Thank you for the very positive comments you have made in relation to the staff at Lymebrook which will be passed onto the staff.

Update posted by Maljo (a service user)

I have been told that these centres are going to be used for misusers of alcohol and drugs, if this statement is true then it's my opinion that you would not be saving any money. Please could we the public have the truth. We may have a mental illness but we are all normal and can understand issues. I feel this is away of closing the centres without have a 90 day consultation period.

If it is true then it seems to me that you care more about substance misusers than you do about people with mental health illness which I believe is not right. We don't choose to be ill where as these people choose to take drugs and alcohol. In theory, as a trust you are using public funds to help these people who are able stop these activities themselves.

Response from North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust

Any change in the use of the Resource Centres will be subject to public consultation. As a Trust we are committed to ensuring that we consult and engage with members of the public in any major change in relation to mental health services.

We can however confirm that current proposals are in relation to mental health service provision, although we are committed to supporting people who have addiction problems, there are no current proposals to re- utilise the resource centres as addiction units.