The controversial decision was made by Bassetlaw’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) governing body at a meeting earlier today (Tuesday, July 20).
The change will affect inpatient services for adults and older people’s mental healthcare in Bassetlaw Hospital, involving 39 beds across two mixed-gender wards. The services will now be moved to Sherwood Oaks in Mansfield or Millbrook Mental Health Unit, near Sutton in Ashfield.
The CCG’s Accountable Officer Idris Griffiths previously said the two mixed-gender wards at Bassetlaw Hospital in Worksop are “inadequate to say the least”. However, replacing them was considered not best value for money.
But serious concerns were raised by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee which asked the CCG to return at a later date once there was a travel plan in place for friends and family of patients.
The CCG says Bassetlaw will receive £4million investment in locally based-services over four years as part of the plans.
A spokesperson said: “The CCG have decided that a better inpatient service will be delivered in future by providing adult inpatient mental health services for Nottinghamshire at a new facility at Sherwood Oaks and older people’s services within a refurbished unit at Millbrook Mental Health Unit, both run by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and located in Mansfield.
“The CCG also recognised local concerns regarding transport for Bassetlaw residents and have put in provisos prior to the decision being implemented. These include support to patients and visitors with transport, effective use of digital communication and exploring the use of a local ‘crash bed’ for patients requiring an short acute stays.”
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.”
A petition opposing the plans, which was set up by former patient Jean Cullen, gained almost 2,500 signatures.
Jean said: “It’s hellish to get to Mansfield especially for people who don’t have a car, it is miles and miles away.
“It’s bad enough when you’ve gone out of your mind and you don’t know what’s going to happen to you.
“I wanted to be near to home, it makes you feel better inside.”