After the George Bryan Centre fire in 2019, the 18 beds of inpatient mental health care provided in Tamworth, were moved to St George’s Hospital in Stafford on a temporary basis. A business plan put forward by the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust intends to make this a permanent solution, over rebuilding the George Bryan Centre and keeping the care local.
The Integrated Care Board will be publishing the plans and case studies behind them. It will then run a 6-week public consultation early next month.
Key themes will include:
- Identifying a long term solution for inpatient mental health services in South Staffordshire
- Any additional information which should be considered
- The positives and negatives the ICB needs to plan for if they do keep inpatient care in Stafford
- Any suggestions which have not already been considered.
The consultation will include paper surveys, online events, roadshows, drop-in events and targeted engagement with specific demographics to ensure as many local people as possible can share their views.
Once the events begin I will share the information on how you can get involved, but I hope that everybody will use this opportunity to make it loud and clear to the ICB and the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust why access to inpatient mental health care needs to remain here in Tamworth.
This week I was in attendance at the quarterly ICB meeting, I put forward a query for the Trust which they have logged formally and will respond in due course. The question is as follows:
What deliberations have the MPFT reached on the Midlands Clinical Senate's 4 recommendations about the business case for mental health services and the George Bryan Centre in Tamworth? In particular the concern raised about the distance some patients and families might need to travel should in-patient services be consolidated in Stafford. What is the specific remediation proposed?
As a rider, What specific plans does the Trust have to ensure on-site mental health service support is available to Tamworth residents in Tamworth itself, given any closure of the GBC ipso facto means a diminution for local services which local people and I cannot support?
I hope once the response is in the NHS will help provide more answers as to why proposing care 25 miles away, rather than locally, where residents need it most, remains the most preferable option, even in light of the feedback provided by patients, hospital visitors and local mental health support organisations so far. I remain firm that such a situation is unacceptable.