'Totally unacceptable' - Residents and councillors react to Bassetlaw mental health ward closure
Residents and councillors have reacted with concern after plans to close mental health services in Bassetlaw were confirmed this week.
The controversial decision was made by Bassetlaw’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) governing body at a meeting earlier on Tuesday, July 20.
It will affect inpatient services for adults and older people’s mental healthcare at Bassetlaw Hospital, involving 39 beds across two mixed-gender wards known as Ward B2 and B3.
The services will now be moved 15 miles away to Sherwood Oaks in Mansfield or Millbrook Mental Health Unit, near Sutton.
The move has sparked mass concern among residents and councillors, who argue the need for mental health services in the district is stronger than ever after challenges poised by the pandemic.
Katy Bennet said she felt ‘disgusted’ by the decision. “Sorry, but mental health issues are on the rise,” she said.
"Disgusting, moving this service away from the town. Should have just spent money refurbishing the wards.”
Shane Wagstaff: “All part of the Government’s culling process. ”I cannot leave my house at the best of times due to my mental health problems, so I certainly wont be travelling elsewhere.”
John Winn said: “The population is growing at an alarming rate with all the building going on in the area and we need the facilities to cope with it all.”
Councillor Glynn Gilfoyle, Nottinghamshire County Councillor for Worksop East, deemed the move ‘unacceptable’.
“Along with many others welcome the £4million worth of investment over the next four years towards improving the provision of mental health service within the local community,” he said.
“Getting services in the community right will hopefully eventually reduce the need for the number of impatient beds by tackling mental health issues earlier but this is set against the current rising numbers of both young and old who are suffering from health and wellbeing issues.
“Therefore, the impact of closing the impatient ward in Bassetlaw at this point in time will be significant not just for today's patients but those in the future their families and carers.
“There are no direct public transport links to Mansfield other than the train and this doesn’t run on Sundays.
"The transport costs which patients and visitors will face places another burden on them when they are facing their most vulnerable times.
“In reality the lengthy consultation process was a charade because running parallel to the consultation Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust had already started to build and refurbish a new 70 bed facility In response to what I accept following my visit to the wards in Bassetlaw is a not fit for purpose facility.
“Questions as to why the facilities at Bassetlaw have been allowed to deteriorate to such an extent over the last few years need to be answered.
“A facility could have and should have been found in Bassetlaw to meet the needs of the Bassetlaw community and if people choose for personal or other reasons patients from the rest of Nottinghamshire to use.
"Having a 70 bed facility based in Mansfield in my opinion is going back to the old days of institutionalising people with mental health issues and this is totally unacceptable.”
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.”