Two Mental Health Units Close

Two mental health units in Hampshire have closed because of staff shortages and lots of empty beds.

The Boards of Hampshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Hampshire have decided to shut down Ellingham psychiatric intensive care unit in the New Forest and Rivendale rehabilitation ward in Fareham with immediate effect.

Patients will now be mostly cared for at home instead, and staff will be redistributed.

Mandy Johnstone, the Trust's Programme Director for Service Development said: "The feedback from the public consultation revealed a number of key themes. There was agreement towards developing community services and moving away from bed-based care, but there were also concerns about the perceived loss of local inpatient services under the proposals."

Jane Elderfield, Director of Nursing and Operational Services said: "In response to outcomes of the public consultation, the Trust is keen to assure that there is no shortage of beds, and that if inpatient care is required, then beds will be readily available. Furthermore, these beds will be as close as possible to people's homes."

NHS Hampshire's Director of Strategic Planning and Corporate Affairs, Richard Samuel supports the decision to close the care units adding: "The decision reflects improvements to community based services that will provide good quality, safe and supportive care for people with mental health problems in Hampshire."

The Trust has also launched an 18 month campaign, as part of the national Time to Change project to improve awareness of mental health related issues.