"Lost Support"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health (inpatient)

(as a service user),

I am most concerned about the imminent closure of the Span Centre, Foster Drive, Nottingham. The staff there do a good job in supporting the service users and enabling them to lead a useful and productive life. I fear that this support will be seriously diluted, or even lost when the centre closes this year. Even if the staff are still employed by the Trust, and based at Highbury Hospital (I understand), without a base to meet at the essential contact will be lost. Therefore this is a very worrying time for the service users.

The building itself is modern and well suited to its purpose. and it should be more fully utilised rather than closed.

Support and activities in the community are all very well in theory, but in practice it often means vulnerable people getting lost in the system, amongst the crowd, because this contact is severed. Lack of support can lead to deterioration in mental health, and anguish for the patient as well as more work for the hard-pressed mental health services.

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Response from Involvement Team , Involvement & Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you for your posting.

We appreciate you taking the time to raise your concerns about the closure of the Social Inclusion and Wellbeing service at Foster Drive Nottingham.

I have passed on your comments to the service.

We will ask them to comment on the issues you have raised.

Response from Involvement Team , Involvement & Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you for your comments. Adult Mental Health Nottingham City is faced, as are all public sector organisations, with the challenge of providing services with greatly reduced income. One strategy that has informed our cost improvement programme has been to close buildings rather than reduce staffing as this has less impact on service users. Some centres have closed but the community groups formerly running from this centre all continue in community locations.

The Wellbeing and Social Inclusion Service based at the SPAN building on Foster Drive supports approximately 750 service users but only about 50 attend the building. Alternative locations are actively being sought for the groups that are currently held in the SPAN building. We are committed to supporting people as well as we can.

I hope this information helps you to see the challenging environment in which we try and provide the best services we can.

Response from Involvement Team , Involvement & Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

I do understand where you are coming from, these are difficult times, I am hopeful however that our services will continue in some form and the support will remain in place. At present there are not any easy answers to the current situation as we are unclear what monies are going to be available to run and develop our services.

I have been given a budget for moving the IT, Literacy and Numeracy classes into the community I am hopeful that I will have a solution for this move by the end of January 2011 and will be working with service users in making the decision where we move to.

I am also keen to continue the levels of support I currently offer to people that have moved on to employment or education outside of SPAN and would hope to be in a position as to know whether I am able to carry this on and how this will work once I have the above classes settled in to their new premises.

I know the Trust is committed to improving services; however there are of course the normal worries that we all have as regards our coping with transition and change. I am hopeful that our team will be in a position to be able to continue to support you in the future. I would very much hope we would avoid “vulnerable people getting lost in the system”

Best wishes Tim Wood

Social Inclusion and Wellbeing Service