STRUCTURE: North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust has launched a public consultation, in partnership with NHS North Staffordshire and NHS Stoke on Trent, on its future plans for mental health services.

The trust is planning to change the way in which a number of its services are delivered.

These include:

  • Dementia services transferring from Bucknall to Harplands Hospital
  • Support for older people experiencing periods of feeling mentally or emotionally unwell taking place via enhanced community teams, ensuring people are supported in their own homes.
  • Rehabilitation care being provided in more appropriate community settings.

The trust said the moves would allow the trust is to close it 100-year-old Bucknall Hospital site, where the “out-dated buildings are no longer suitable for modern healthcare, and the location is isolated, particularly from the trust’s Harplands Hospital in Hartshill and the local communities it serves”.

Chief executive Fiona Myers said: “The proposed changes will give people care closer to their home and reduce the length of hospital stays, both of which we know are in the interest of our patients.

“We want to deliver rehabilitation care out in the community, instead of a hospital. The step from a small unit to a community service will be a smaller and more natural one than leaving a hospital ward, which is essential to the recovery and wellbeing of our service users.”

Andy Donald, director of commissioning development for Staffordshire Cluster of PCTs, added: “These proposed changes are based on case studies from around the country adopted by other trusts and they will not reduce or curtail a patient’s choice about what care they receive and where.”

The consultation closes at 5pm on Friday, 28 October.