COMMERCIAL: An investigation has been launched into Berkshire Healthcare FT’s plans to consolidate mental health services in the area.

Slough Borough Council’s Health Scrutiny Panel has launched an investigation into the provisional decision by Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust to move all mental health care beds to West Reading.

The plans were chosen despite being the least popular option during a consultation process.

The investigation will be looking into the need for the move, the recent public consultation, announcements by government on NHS funding and whether the trust’s decision was fair and reasonable.

Councillor Julia Long, chair of the working group, said: “We are pleased the trust has delayed its final decision.

“We really want to get to the bottom of whether they need to save money by centralising all in-patient mental health care and whether the consultation considered all the evidence given by local people.”

A spokeswoman for the trust said: “No final decision as to any of the options has been decided on as yet. This will happen probably mid-June. We embarked on a 14 week public consultation in 2010 where all comments were logged and we still continue to note all responses.”