Don’t miss out on having your say on the ongoing consultation on changes to mental health services across South West London – deadline 20th December. You can view the consultation documents here.
For details on how to respond, visit here.
Sadiq has raised concerns on behalf of local residents and you can read a copy of this below.
Dear David Bradley,
Re: Inpatient mental health services consultation in south west London
I have recently been contacted by my constituents who have a number of concerns regarding the ongoing consultation into inpatient services in South West London.
I understand that the Trust are proposing two options. ‘Option One’ would involve the closure of mental health inpatient services at Queen Mary’s Hospital and a 10% reduction in the number of beds. ‘Option Two’ would maintain inpatient services at all three sites; Springfield, Tolworth and Queen Mary’s, but Tolworth would no longer provide local mental health services.
I also understand that ‘Option One’ is the Trust’s preferred option, however I would like to raise a number of concerns in regards to this.
- Wandsworth is recognised as an area of high need for mental health services. Statistics show that Wandsworth residents make up half of those admitted to Queen Mary’s. I am concerned that should the Trust opt for this route, Wandsworth residents will be required to travel to Tolworth to receive treatment, which I worry they may be unwilling to do. I am concerned that more patients will be pushed to crisis point as a result of not receiving the inpatient care they need, and as well as raising real health concerns, this could potentially cost the NHS much more in the long run with patients opting to using A&E departments and other urgent care services as a result.
- The proposals in ‘Option One’ would also mean that more Wandsworth families could have to travel further to visit their loved ones receiving inpatient care in Kingston.
- I understand that it is the Trust’s position that the number of sites should be reduced to two to create two centres of ‘excellence’, however my constituents would like to know why keeping services local and of a high quality are mutually exclusive. Wandsworth residents would like to see a solution which provides patients with both local, and high quality care.
I also understand that the Trust has already removed services from Queen Mary’s Hospital. This would appear to be premature in light of the ongoing consultation and I would be grateful for your comments on this.
There have also been concerns raised with proposals to reduce the number of inpatient beds across South West London by 10%. My constituents are concerned that this could result in mental health patients not receiving the inpatient care they need. Any decision taken on this consultation must address local fears that as a result of a 10% (40) reduction in beds, 40 patients could potentially be missing out on the care they need. I understand that ‘Option One’ includes the improvement and expansion of outpatient services, however I have yet to see evidence that this will adequately address the gap left by the loss of 40 beds. I urge the CCG to take this into consideration as part of this consultation and ask that no decision be made before funding for outpatient and community services can be identified and secured long term.
Concerns have also been raised with me regarding the proposals to relocate the regional adolescent unit and the associated school, which are currently located on the Springfield site, to Tolworth. The school was recently awarded an ‘outstanding’ status and I share my constituents’ real concerns that moving both would have an unsettling impact on the young people that use these services, as well as risk losing the ‘outstanding’ status the staff have worked so hard to achieve.
I would also like to reiterate concerns raised with moving the Trust's specialist deaf services, from Springfield to Tolworth. Service users are concerned that moving the regional service will make it less accessible to the people who need it because patients will be have to travel a significantly longer distance to Kingston and may not be willing to make the journey.
In conclusion, I would urge Wandsworth CCG to consider the above concerns I have raised on behalf of my constituents, and those they have raised with you directly, before making any decisions on changes to mental health services in South West London.
Sadiq Khan MP