Mental health patient

NHS North West London launches consultation into future of mental health services

Patients in the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster will be asked to shape the future of local mental health facilities, as Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) launches a new public consultation.

The consultation, open today, is set to run until 30 January 2024 and will inform how the NHS will set up its services.

The consultation features three options for service configuration which the trust has developed in collaboration with a host of local partners that include patients and the police.

  • Option one – 118 inpatient beds across the trust’s St Charles Mental Health Centre and Gordon Hospital. It would see community and crisis services developed in early 2020 either reduced or cut completely. The trust describes this option as the one closest to its pre-pandemic model.
  • Option two – 80 beds across the two sites with a reduction in community and crisis services, including closure of the mental health crisis assessment service (MHCAS).
  • Option three – 67 inpatient beds at St Charles, supported by an expansion of the MHCAS. The service would also be relocated to the Gordon Hospital with capacity for 12 patients, including four overnight admissions. This is the trust’s preferred option.
                                                                           Video credit: Canva

Executive director of strategy and population health for NHS North West London, Toby Lambert, said: “Our current view is that our preferred model – Option 3 – offers the highest quality clinical care, the best patient experience, allows us to treat more residents with acute mental health needs, and is the best use of our available funding and resources.”

“During the pandemic, the temporary closure of wards at the Gordon Hospital allowed us to significantly increase community-based mental health services. Overall, we are spending £11m more on mental health services supporting the residents in these boroughs, with 193 additional staff.

“Many more people now receive the help they need – we are supporting more than twice as many people as we were previously. We have reduced the need for inpatient admissions by an average of almost 30 per cent while referrals to services in the community have more than doubled.”

More information on the consultation is available here.

Image credit: iStock

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