"The Team at the Arundal Unit"

About: Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust / Inpatient mental health care

(as the patient),

The team at the Arundal Unit are a good bunch who work hard on Edgehill & Newington Wards, but I feel are spending far too much time on the computer doing paperwork.

When I was on the "Unit" last month often I would hear staff complaining that they did not have enough time to spend with patients. It is very important that staff do spend as much time as possible with patients, nursing them back to health and therefore I agree with them.

I learnt that the Arundal Unit staff will be moving to wards at St Martins Hospital when the Arundal Unit closes later this year, but like staff I was disappointed that this apparently will mean the loss of eighty (80) beds in Kent.

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Response from Alison Grimsey, E-Communications Manager, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust

Thank you for getting in touch; we appreciate your comments.

It is not the case that eighty beds will be lost in Kent. KMPT and Kent and Medway PCT Cluster are currently in the process of a consultation about care for working age adults in a mental health crisis. The proposals that are currently being considered in the consultation see acute inpatient provision aligned to need per locality. This may see beds for East Kent increase by 9 beds, Medway and Swale bed needs remain unchanged from present at 35, with a 10 bed reduction noted for west Kent.

The redesign also sees investment in Crisis Resolution Home Treatment (CRHT), enabling this service to see and treat more people in their own environment where this is agreed to be the best option for them. CRHT will be co-located with their locality acute beds; this closer working relationship will ensure that only those who need to be in hospital are in hospital, and where appropriate home treatment is provided and supported.

The move of the acute wards from The Arundel Unit, Ashford to St Martins, Canterbury will see a marked improvement in conditions for both patients and staff with single rooms and free access to external space something that has been lacking for a number of years for those admitted to The Arundel Unit. The consultation seeks to address similar issues for the residents of Medway and Swale. For more information about the consultation please visit: http://www.kmpt.nhs.uk/acute-mental-health-review.

The service is committed to continue to improve the experience of those accessing acute care ensuring that evidence based care is available to all.

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