New model for Mental Health and Learning Disability Services approved

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A new model of care for Mental Health and Learning Disability inpatient services in Tayside has been approved by Perth & Kinross Integration Joint Board.

The new service model will see General Adult Psychiatry (GAP) acute admissions provided from four wards at Carseview Centre in Dundee and Learning Disability (LD) inpatient services from four wards at Murray Royal Hospital in Perth.

The Mental Health and Learning Disability Services Redesign Transformation Programme was set up to develop options for a long-term sustainable model of care for GAP and LD inpatient services.  This followed advice from clinicians and professional leads that the existing three-site model for GAP acute admission inpatient services was not sustainable and could pose a significant clinical risk to patients and staff.

A three-month consultation was held between July and October last year asking for views on the proposed model.  Clinicians considered this model to be the only option which is able to provide safe, sustainable and high quality mental health services for the people of Tayside into the future.

All feedback received during the consultation was included in a report which was presented to the Integration Joint Board (IJB) of Perth & Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership, which manages Mental Health and Learning Disability inpatient services across Tayside.  The report also included comments and feedback from Angus and Dundee IJBs and Tayside NHS Board, which considered the proposals at their meetings in December and January.

A number of themes were raised during the consultation including issues such as transport and access to services.  NHS Tayside and the three health and social care partnerships are committed to continuing conversations with staff, service users, carers, partner organisations and local communities to address the issues they have raised and look at ways of minimising the impact of the proposed changes.

Chief Officer for Perth & Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership Robert Packham said, “The IJB has made an historic decision in approving the proposals for Mental Health and Learning Disability inpatient services in Tayside.

“Healthcare is changing rapidly, with a greater focus on recovery and improved mental wellbeing in communities.  Specialist hospital services will always be needed for those who are most unwell and, when people are in hospital, they should receive the highest possible quality of care in buildings which are fit for the delivery of modern healthcare.

“As we move to implement the new model of care, I would seek to reassure members of the public that the changes will be introduced with care and with the involvement of the people who use our services and the organisations that support them.”

Interim Clinical Director for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Dr Stuart Doig said, “Change can be difficult but sometimes it is necessary to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients.  With this decision we now have the opportunity to provide high quality inpatient treatment in modern facilities to all patients.  It is recognised that this will require work with local people in further developing community services to make this a success.”

Chair of Perth & Kinross IJB Linda Dunion added, “Today’s decision has been taken after a great deal of careful consideration.  We have taken into account clinical opinion as to how we can ensure that our inpatient mental health and learning disability services are high quality, safe and sustainable into the future.  We have listened to the concerns, comments and suggestions of the many people who shared their views with us in person, online and in writing.  Where there are issues of concern, such as transport and access to services, we will work with local communities to address these.

“It is now up to all three health and social care partnerships, together with NHS Tayside, to work with staff, service users, carers, partner organisations and local communities to minimise any negative impact and crucially, to maximise the benefits of a model of care that is fit for the 21st century.”

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