Tamworth’s Member of Parliament, Chris Pincher has been continuing the fight for the restoration of the George Bryan Mental Health Centre and its mental health services. This week Mr Pincher has written to the new Secretary of State for Health to bring her attention to the importance of this mental health services in our town, to highlight the West Midlands Clinical Senate Recommendations and to ask for her to support the call for the George Bryan Centre to remain in Tamworth.
Currently the plans of the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to move in-patient services to Stafford are paused following the intervention of the West Midlands Clinical Senate.
Mr Pincher said: “Our opposition to the business case put forward by the Trust, is unchanged. I have detailed my constituents' opposition to this proposal, as well as my own personal opposition, on several occasions and for me the main pillar of disagreement is the distance Stafford is from Tamworth, and the associated costs of having treatment so far away will affect both the patients and their families and friends.”
On the Clinical Senate recommendations which were released last week, Mr Pincher went on: “The Senate raised legitimate questions (Recommendation 2) as to the adequacy of plans for the provision of community support for patients in the absence of the George Bryan Centre. I too am concerned that insufficient focus has been given to the situation of our local elderly who may not have transport to get to Stafford or may struggle to organise themselves to travel so far given additional needs.
This is particularly the case given Recommendation 4 which is states that the Trust should engage with ‘“operational and clinical colleagues to understand the need for community sites for staff to use as bases for clinics and to run events.’” This suggests the insufficient work has been done to ensure community care has been worked out.
At a minimum we would expect and want additional community hubs for staff to provide mental health support in the community. But in the absence of either the assurance of safe provision for the elderly in particular, and the planning for community hubs for mental health services staff in general, I feel that the George Bryan Centre should remain available for patients.“
Mr Pincher also paid tribute to the work done by Cllr Jeremy Pert of Staffordshire County Council in scrutinising this ongoing process, Cllr Daniel Maycock for his high profile local campaigning for mental health serevices, as well as to the League of Friends of the Tamworth Hospitals who continue to fight for patient rights in Tamworth.
Mr Pincher said: “The pause in a final decision to move service at the George Bryan Centre means we still have a chance to persuade them of the importance of in-patient mental health services in our town.
We need help on our doorstep and not many miles away. I encourage as many Herald readers as possible to support the campaign either by contacting the Midlands Partnership Trust directly or by contacting me so I can pass on your concerns”.