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NHS welcomes decision on Acute Services

User AvatarPosted by Bobbie Walkem-Smith at 31/07/2013 15:08:36

NHS commissioners and Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, today welcomed the decision of Kent and Medway Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JHOSC) to support proposals put forward for the provision of mental health crisis care. The decision follows a public consultation last year into the way services should be provided locally, which included specific concerns about the poor quality environment at Medway’s A Block and the need to find new accommodation as soon as possible. This approach was also supported by an independent report commissioned by both Kent County Council and Medway Council.

Members of the JHOSC agreed to support the proposals which include increasing the number of acute beds and developing three centres of excellence in Dartford, Canterbury and Maidstone subject to a number of caveats. These include:
• Increased investment in community services for people who are acutely mentally ill
• Developing a detailed plan for the delivery of the three centres of excellence
• An action plan within the next three months, which will be overseen by NHS England , Kent County Council and Medway Council Health Overview and Scrutiny Committees
• Regular monitoring of performance in the light of the changes as they are implemented

Following the consultation, clinical commissioners in Kent and Medway and the Trust reviewed the original model of care proposed.

Following the decision today, the eight clinical commissioning groups in Kent and Medway will be asked at the next meetings of their governing bodies to approve four recommendations which came out of the consultation.

The recommendations are:
• Investing more in developing crisis resolution and home treatment teams which can provide support to people at home and avoid unnecessary admission to hospital
• Concentrating acute care beds on three hospital sites
• Rapid development of these services so that patients can be moved from A Block in Medway
• Commencing work to develop and implement care pathways for people needing urgent mental health care.

We anticipate that this work will be completed within 12 months. Work on enhancing crisis resolution and home treatment teams has already begun

Ian Ayres, Chief Officer for NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“The JHOSC has agreed that it is correct for us to move to providing care for people in a mental health crisis in three centres of excellence, backed up by stronger crisis care for people who can be cared for in their own homes. These plans have been independently endorsed by the National Clinical Assessment Team and by consultants Mental Health Strategies and we are pleased that JHOSC agrees that this is the best way for people in a mental health crisis in Kent and Medway to get the best care in the future.

“We need to be very sure that the right number of beds is available for people in a mental health crisis who need inpatient care, which is why rigorous checks were carried out to make sure that we have enough beds to cope with demand. This will not delay the move to three centres of excellence.

Dr Karen White, medical director, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) said:
“This decision means that we can now move forward with the provision of excellent mental health services for people in Kent and Medway who need crisis care. It’s an opportunity for us to strengthen community services for people in mental health crisis supporting more care at home, which is what most people want, and to deliver care in modern accommodation which has been designed to meet the needs of service users and staff.”

In 2012 a public consultation into the future of inpatient services for people experiencing a mental health crisis who need inpatient care took place. Service users, carers, clinicians and members of partner organisations were asked for their views. The outcome was support for the provision of acute services in three centres of excellence based in Dartford, Canterbury and Maidstone. Although service users were generally supportive, concerns were raised by councillors that there would no longer be any acute inpatient provision in Medway.

This media statement is issued by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Partnership Trust and NHS West Kent CCG, which hosts the contract with KMPT on behalf of the eight CCGs in Kent and Medway.

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