Cambridgeshire mental health trust tries to save Personality Disorder Community Services

  • Plans to close a Cambridge drop-in centre for people with personality disorders is set to go ahead.

    Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust have launched a public consultation into the reorganisation of Personality Disorder Community Services in the county. In March service users took over the centre in a stand against the closure and have remained on site since, reports CambridgeNews. /images/mentalhealth.jpg

    Cambridge County Council and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group became involved and pushed for the consultation.

    In the document, which invites responses up until July 14, the mental health trust states: "In January 2014, as part of the implementation of the Personality Disorder Community Service, a decision was taken to close Lifeworks. We recognise in retrospect that we should have discussed this as a proposal with current service users to gain their views prior to writing to them about the planned closure on March 31 2014. We regret that we did not do this and hope that this consultation will now provide an opportunity for our proposals to be considered and feedback to be received. We have taken on board the concerns raised by Lifeworks service users and we are working proactively with the CCG, the scrutiny committee, Healthwatch, service users, carers and the independent sector to find possible solutions. In response to the concerns raised, we are proposing a transitional support programme based in the community and additional access to crisis support during the transition period for service users who are affected by the closure of Lifeworks."

    Cllr Kilian Bourke, the council's health scrutiny committee chairman, said: "The Lifeworks service users should be congratulated for sticking up for their rights as patients. Their campaign has ensured that this consultation is taking place and I hope that scrutiny's involvement has been helpful. At the same time, the mental health trust's comprehensive consultation paper makes it clear that what is proposed is not merely an isolated closure but a redesign of the Complex Cases service as a whole. This is a complicated package which involves the closure of Lifeworks but also the creation of other new roles, and so a cross-party working group of councillors has been appointed to evaluate the proposals and formulate a response."

    A spokesman for CPFT explained the closure of Lifeworks was part of a larger plan to "ensure many more people can access services across all areas of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough".

    He added: "The proposals may bring changes to the services that some clients have been used to receiving. However, as the document sets out, CPFT remains committed to helping those to provide care to those who need it most and put as many people as possible on the path to recovery. We hope people will find the time to read the consultation document and feedback their views."

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