Mental health care: what do you think?

PUBLISHED: 16:15 13 June 2007 | UPDATED: 21:43 29 May 2010

MENTAL health service provision in North Essex is changing, and the West Essex PCT want to know how you feel about it. The PCT wants to consolidate specialist services, bringing together different units in a single centralised location. The Derwent Centre

MENTAL health service provision in North Essex is changing, and the West Essex PCT want to know how you feel about it.

The PCT wants to consolidate specialist services, bringing together different units in a single centralised location.

The Derwent Centre in Harlow will be the new centre of expertise for all working-age adults who require treatment for mental health problems.

All inpatients who are currently based in Epping would be transferred to Harlow, where they would have easier access to crisis teams and psychiatric intensive care.

Another proposed change would see mental health care provision for all older adults being based at St Margaret's Hospital in Epping.

This provision would include up to 32 assessment beds and a new day hospital with enough space to accommodate 80 patients a week.

Aidan Thomas, Chief Executive of West Essex PCT, said: "There have been major improvements to mental health services over the last five years.

"These improvements have led to change in the way people interact with mental health services.

"For example, people do not always have to stay in hospital as they have better access to crisis resolution and home treatment services.

"Changes have to be made to the way mental health services are currently provided. These are our proposals and I would encourage people to make comments and suggest how we could do things differently."

Anyone who has an interest in the way mental health services are provided in Uttlesford is being encouraged to attend one of a series of meetings being held as part of the consultation, or complete a questionnaire available from the West Essex PCT's website.

The closest public meeting for Uttlesford residents is taking place in Foakes Hall in Great Dunmow on Tuesday July 24, from 4pm to 7pm.

Attendees will be able to comment on and take part in discussions concerning the proposed strategy.

If you would like to contribute to the consultation online, you can do so at www.westessexpct.nhs.uk. The closing date is September 7.

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