"SPAN - essential to my well-being"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health (inpatient)

(as a service user),

I am very concerned at the proposed closure of SPAN, foster drive, nottingham. In my opinion, the decision making process should take into account that short term financial gain (the sale of a site) is going to have long term financial consequences for the NHS when desperate service users inevitably fetch up at GPs and casualty and require more one to one psychiatric support and in patient care.

It is all very well saying services will continue in alternative sites. Where are these buildings? Do they have disabled access? Do they have the facilities to continue the high level of facilities, care and support that we get in SPAN. What support is being give to staff who are faced with finding alternate venues? Surely the Trust should have found these alternative venues before the announcement was made to service users that their lifeline was being sold off?

It feels to me like no one in higher management understands the detrimental effect all this uncertainty causes to many with mental health problems, not to mention that I feel the trust is putting money before patients.

SPAN used to be a vibrant, well used facility with a whole range of therapeutic activities. But gradually it has been run down, many of the groups simply disappearing. SPAN is a wonderful modern building with good facilities and potential to offer a wide range of activities that could be opened up to the public to create a community hub, offering that favourite buzz words "social inclusion". The alternative is moving groups into "the community" where we rarely see a member of the public. It doesn't feel like this is inclusive to me?

Finally, why can't we have a bit of joined up government ? I go to three different groups. The Trust wants to get rid of SPAN, the council day centre i attend is under threat and i also get support from Famework, who have had their budget slashed by the council. These are all things that keep me functioning. What hope do i have if all these facilities close?

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Responses

Response from Involvement Team , Involvement & Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust We have made a change

Dear Finmental Whilst I am not in a position to answer directly for the Trust I do understand how difficult things are at the moment and if you are a service user that I work with I would be more than happy to offer you or ensure you get extra support from one of my colleagues. There does seem to be a great deal of uncertainty at the moment, this would appear to be the result of current funding issues and of course the new directions in which the Trust feels it must go to ensure that services are up-to-date and meet service user need (now and in the future) as well as governmental directives. Change is notoriously difficult, but I am hopeful that the services that I am involved in will continue in the community. I am sure if you have any questions about the services offered at SPAN Julie (my manager) would be happy to discuss these with you. As people that struggle with their mental health we do find change far more difficult as it would appear to undermine our mental state; however I believe that in supporting each other we can work together and create a similar environment to that which SPAN offers, who know maybe even better. I can now confirm that; following confirmation of funding availability for the next year, the service user committee (that was setup by me to look at where we move the Admin, IT and Basic Skills to) have voted unanimously to move to Aspley Community and Training Centre on Minver Crescent in Aspley. The committee all agreed that the facilities at Aspley were ideal and would meet service user need. (For more information about the centre please visit www.aspleyctc.co.uk)The move is scheduled to take place on Friday 25th February and courses will resume on Tuesday 1st of March at Aspley Community and Training Centre. Of course if you attend any of these groups and would like extra support to access the centre I will endeavour to accommodate any such requests. Over the next week anyone that currently attends the Admin, IT and or Literacy and Numeracy will be receiving a letter with more information about the move to Aspley Community Centre. There is also the creation of a Recovery Education Centre which is currently under development. The Recovery Education Centre will hopefully enable access to lots of different opportunities and support in service user’s individual recovery needs. I am hopeful that we can work together to create services that continue to offer support to those who we already work with as well as those new to our services. I would hope to be able to support you through this difficult time and welcome the opportunity of working with you to create opportunities that meet the needs current and future users of our services. I hope this help to make you feel a little bit better about the changes that are taking place – please do not hesitate in contacting me should you require further support. Best wishes Tim Wood Training Area Leader (Admin, IT and Basic Skills) Social Inclusion and Wellbeing Service

Update posted by finmental (a service user)

Tim, my comment was in no way meant to be any criticism of you, but at what I feel is the inexplicable acts of management. In my opinion this shows little understanding of mental health. You have been, as always, wonderfully supportive and understanding. The thought of moving venues is exceedingly anxiety-provoking but as the Trust has already moved my creative groups from span to Broad street,to stonebridge and back to span in recent years, I suppose I should be used to it now!

Like everyone at span, I cant imagine IT without you! So thank you again for caring and working so hard for your students.