Plans to close specialist mental health services in South Tyneside

A public consultation into the future of specialist mental health services in South Tyneside has been launched

Dr David Hambleton, chief officer at NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group
Dr David Hambleton, chief officer at NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group

Specialist mental health services based in the North East could be closed under plans put forward by health chiefs.

A public consultation into the future of specialist mental health services in South Tyneside has been launched to look at how the quality of care and treatment can be made better.

These are the Bede Wing, the Leas and ward 18. Instead, patients have hospital stays at the purpose-built multi-million pound Hopewood Park Hospital at Ryhope, Sunderland, which is to open in summer.

The Bede Wing unit has been dogged with controversy. Last year, a coroner criticised the “systematic failure” of the unit after a blind woman was found dead in her room.

Dr David Hambleton, chief officer at NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Specialist mental health services include services you might get from a community psychiatric nurse treating you at home, through to the more serious but thankfully much rarer cases when patients might need to spend time in a psychiatric hospital.

“The changes that we are talking about in this consultation are about services that support people with complex mental health issues like severe depression, schizophrenia, psychosis and personality disorders.

“Together with Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, we have been looking carefully at the services needed to support people with these sorts of conditions and we would like to organise them in a different and better way.

“We want to improve and enhance our specialist services which will allow more people to be treated in their own home, or closer to home and reduce the need to have to stay in a psychiatric hospital.”

NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, along with Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust are holding a public consultation over the next 14 weeks and are asking for views.

For more information about the public consultation visit www.southtynesideccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/my-life/

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