21st Oct, 2016

Solihull Hospital mental health unit faces closure

Sarah Mason 12th Oct, 2016 Updated: 11 hours ago

A MENTAL Health unit in Solihull faces closure after a in a shake-up of services for the region.

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are carrying out a consultation about changes to adult mental health, community and inpatient services which could spell the end of the Bruce Burns Unit.

The 16-bed unit provides care and treatment at Solihull Hospital for those with complex needs and who require more specialist care.

Patients from Birmingham and Solihull requiring in-patient treatment would continue to be offered services in Sparkhill, Erdington, Egbaston, Winson Green and Small Heath if the unit closes its doors.

The Trust is redesigning mental health services in line with the results of a public consultation carried out in 2015.

The consultation led to the creation of the ‘New Dawn’ program which aims to develop community services, to provide services closer to home, to provide more early and preventative services focused on recovery and to reduce the need for inpatient beds.

John Short, Chief Executive at BSMHFT said: “Providing high quality and safe care for our service users is always our top priority and we have ambitious plans to improve our inpatient services.

“The provision of inpatient beds away from the Bruce Burns unit has long been discussed by the Trust and commissioners due to the stand-alone nature of the ward, which poses greater risks to safety and security and offers fewer facilities and scope for improvement than in our purpose built mental health units with co-located wards.

“Alongside the ongoing development of excellent community mental health services in Solihull, we can reassure Solihull residents that they will continue to have access to high quality inpatient care, in the most appropriate setting for them, as close to home as possible.

“All staff currently employed at the Bruce Burns Unit will be offered the opportunity to transfer to another of the Trust’s inpatient units.”

However, campaigners including Amber Hindle believe closing the unit could have a detrimental effect on Silhillians who are admitted.

She added: “An important part of the recovery process from mental ill-health is to have visits from family and friends and I fear that when the Bruce Burns ward closes and patients from Solihull are having to be treated further afield will mean that patients will not be able to receive as many visits as they need or would like because of the travel distance and costs.”

To have your say visit http://solihullccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/new-dawn or write to Freepost NHS Questionnaire Response, Solihull Mental Health Consultation he deadline for comments is November 1.