Proposals to improve mental health services for adults at Lambeth Hospital

A public consultation on proposals to improve inpatient mental health services for adults in Lambeth Hospital was launched on 4 March. 

The consultation, which is led by NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS Lambeth CCG) and supported by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust), is seeking views on a proposal to move adult inpatient mental health services from Lambeth Hospital, in Landor Road to new, modern and high quality facilities on the Maudsley Hospital site, at Denmark Hill.

The wards at Lambeth Hospital no longer meet acknowledged modern standards and are not fit for purpose. The way in which some wards are arranged does not support the privacy, dignity and safety that our service users should expect. In turn this impacts on people’s recovery and the experience of the care they receive. For our staff it makes their role more difficult and this in turn impacts on team morale, recruitment and retention.

These issues have been raised by service users, families, and by staff as well as by regulators such as the Care Quality Commission, whose role is to monitor the quality of services. NHS Lambeth CCG and the Trust recognise the urgent need to improve inpatient accommodation for mental health services in Lambeth.

The preferred option is to move the inpatient services for adults from Lambeth Hospital to the Maudsley Hospital site in Denmark Hill. This would not change the total number of beds available for service users. A new, purpose-built building, which would be built on the Maudsley Hospital site, would provide a modern, safe and therapeutic environment for service users which would meet accepted modern standards. It would have individual en-suite bathrooms for all bedrooms, direct access to large outdoor balconies and fresh air, good views across the wards for staff, family rooms and a multi-faith space. The only alternative other potential option identified is to continue to use the existing wards and buildings on the Lambeth Hospital site and sustain the existing problems.

An option to develop a new high-quality facility on the Lambeth Hospital site was also looked at. However, as this would have meant relocating services during its construction, causing major disruption for many years and would have needed additional funding of around £30m, it was unrealistic and financially unsustainable, and therefore not taken forward to consultation.

David Bradley, Chief Executive at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our aim is to ensure our service users and carers get the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

“With our partners, we want to support people to be cared for closer to home, increase people’s connections with their communities and use inpatient care for those who really need it.

“We have developed these proposals with service users and carers, clinicians and non-clinical staff to make sure we lead the way in providing the best mental health care and support for local people. Please make sure you have your say on the proposals – we want to hear your views, thoughts and suggestions.”

Dr Adrian McLachlan, NHS Lambeth CCG Clinical Chair said: “As part of the Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance, we have been working to improve community and home-based services, and provide more care closer to home. The Alliance’s vision is to shift the focus from overlong and sometimes inappropriate stays in hospital to community and home-based services that are joined up, easier to access and more cost effective.

“When some people, due to the severity of their mental health needs, require specialist support in hospital, we want them to be treated in safe, modern and therapeutic accommodation. Our preferred option aims to achieve this. We want to hear people’s views including any other solutions or alternative options we should consider, before we make a decision.”

If the proposal to move adult inpatient services from Lambeth Hospital is agreed, 72 acute beds for Lambeth service users across four 18-bed wards and a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), would move to the Maudsley Hospital site. There is already a ward serving Lambeth residents on the Maudsley Hospital site and this would help us ensure all of the acute inpatient services for the borough are brought together.

Before starting this formal consultation the proposals have been discussed over many months with service users, their families and carers, staff, governors, GPs, Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance partners, local authority officers and councillors, Lambeth and Southwark Healthwatch, CCG members and other key stakeholders. Feedback from this engagement has been captured and informed the Trust’s understanding of the proposals.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks from 4 March until 31 May 2020.
We would like to hear from you what benefits you think there are and what concerns you may have with these proposals. Do you have any other solutions or alternative options that you think we should consider? We are also keen to understand your views on whether the proposal might affect some individuals and groups more than others.

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