‘Anger and upset’ over hospital mental health unit closure

Bassetlaw District Hospital (Picture: Google)

By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter

A former patient has been left “angry and upset” after health managers decided to close Bassetlaw Hospital’s mental health unit.

Bassetlaw’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) governing body decided yesterday (July 20) that inpatient mental health services at the local hospital would be moved 20 miles away as the current facilities are not adequate.

Adults and older people’s mental healthcare will instead be provided at Sherwood Oaks in Mansfield or Millbrook Mental Health Unit, near Sutton in Ashfield.

Former patient Jean Cullen, whose petition ‘Stop the closure of the mental health unit in Bassetlaw hospital’, gained almost 2,500 signatures, said she was left “angry and upset” after finding out the result of the meeting.

The 70-year-old of Worksop said: “I think it’s disgusting. I knew it was going to happen and it’s wrong.

“I feel this was all a done deal before I set up the petition.

“I think people are going to find it very hard to travel to Mansfield. Not everybody has a car and people are going to struggle.

“When I found out I felt angry and upset for myself and all the other people affected.

“I just feel rejected, not only for me but for all the others. It makes me sick.”

Callum Bailey, Nottinghamshire County Councillor for Worksop North (Con), said: “I am disappointed but not surprised.

“We all came away from the Health Scrutiny Committee meeting thinking this would be the way it would go.

“I’m pleased they’ve recognised that there are significant travel concerns, however, I would’ve liked to have seen those put forward prior to the decision being made.

“Residents are still concerned about travel and very annoyed in the sense that they feel the decision had already been made.

“Hopefully, patients will receive better care [At Millbrook and Sherwood Oaks] which is a positive.

“But we would’ve liked more transparency and openness.”

The CCG says Bassetlaw will receive £4million investment in locally based-services over four years as part of the plans. It also said the old unit was no longer fit for purpose, but replacing it would not represent good value for money.

The option of a local ‘crash bed’ for patients requiring an short acute stays would also be discussed, the CCG said.

Dr Eric Kelly, Chair of NHS Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group and local GP said: “Our patients have the right to expect consistently high-quality services provided in high quality facilities that provide a positive patient experience.

“The result of this investment will be huge improvements for local community mental health services that will benefit many thousands of people.  Mental health inpatient services for adults and older people across the county will move from Bassetlaw to far better facilities.  However, the CCG recognises the impact on Bassetlaw patients and visitors regarding transport.  We are therefore seeking further assurance on this ahead of the implementation of the move.

“The CCG has established there will be no move of community or outpatient services and the CCG has stated that local residents will continue to have access to high-quality locally based services such as bereavement support, support for children and young people and services for those with anxiety or severe mental health conditions are available in Bassetlaw.  This includes ongoing access to 24/7 crisis support based in Bassetlaw.”

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