Plans for Bassetlaw mental health ward closure under scrutiny at Council meeting next week

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The future of mental health services in Bassetlaw will come under scrutiny next week as councillors and health chiefs meet to discuss controversial proposals that would see vital services in the district moved to Mansfield.

Councillors from the Health Scrutiny Committee will speak with senior leaders from Bassetlaw CCG and Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust about planned changes which will see Bassetlaw’s Ward B2 closed with services moved 13 miles away.

Under the potential move, inpatient services for adults and older people’s mental healthcare would be transferred to new sites at Sherwood Oaks and Millbrook respectively.

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The meeting is scheduled for July 13, just one week before the CCG is due to make crucial decisions about the future of these services.

Bassetlaw Hospital's B2 ward will close if the plans go ahead.Bassetlaw Hospital's B2 ward will close if the plans go ahead.
Bassetlaw Hospital's B2 ward will close if the plans go ahead.

The proposals were the subject of a public consultation between February 10 and April 18 this year.

Bassetlaw District Council leader Simon Greaves spoke out against the proposals, slamming the plans as a ‘ready-baked’ solution that could put patients at risk.

This is certainly not what local people want,” Coun Greaves told the Guardian in March. "And across the council there has been widespread cross-party support to see these services kept in Bassetlaw.

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“The Covid-19 crisis has laid bare the need for further investment in mental health services and fundamentally we do not want to see them transferred.

"But yet again we see facilities moving outside the district.”

A former patient of Ward B2, who did not wish to be named, also told the Guardian: “With the Covid pandemic and mental health of many declining it will be a devastating loss for Bassetlaw and surrounding areas.

“Patients and visitors will have to travel further and patients will be further from home - and we won’t have a mental health ward anymore.”

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Councillor Sue Saddington, chairman of Health Scrutiny Committee, said: “I am very interested to hear the results of the engagement process.

"Although the executive summary has been shared, we are still awaiting the full documentation that is being provided to Bassetlaw CCG Governing Body on July 13.

“In particular, I would like to understand whether the travel to the new facility will have an impact on carers and staff and, if so, how this will be mitigated.”

Bassetlaw CCG’s Governing Body will decide on the proposals at its meeting on July 20.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Sam Jackson, editor.