STRUCTURE: Proposals to increase the number of acute beds and develop three centres of excellence in Dartford, Canterbury and Maidstone have been agreed.

Kent and Medway joint health overview and scrutiny committee has backed mental health crisis care plans from commissioners and Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust.

Trust medical director Dr Karen White said: “We can now move forward with the provision of excellent mental health services for people in Kent and Medway who need crisis care.”

The committee’s decision follows a consultation last year into the way services should be provided locally, which included specific concerns about the poor quality environment at Medway’s A Block and the need to find new accommodation as soon as possible.

The eight clinical commissioning groups in Kent and Medway will be asked to approve four recommendations, which came out of the consultation.

These are investing more in developing crisis resolution and home treatment teams, concentrating acute care beds on three hospital sites, rapid development of these services so patients can be moved from A Block, and commencing work to develop and implement care pathways for people needing urgent mental health care.

The work is expected to be completed within 12 months.