COMMERCIAL: North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare Trust is consulting on the closure of a 100 year old mental health hospital to move care “closer to home”.

In a press release, the trust said the Bucknall Hospital site, which could be closed, has “out-dated buildings” which 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.”

The 12 week consultation period began on 8 August. A further phase of the consultation will focus on changes to the way in which resource centres are used and the proposed closure of some older people’s day hospitals, the trust said.

Chief executive Fiona Myers said: “We have talked to people who use, support, deliver and fund our services and this consultation is an opportunity for everyone to have their say.

“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.

Director of commissioning development for Staffordshire Cluster of PCTs Andy Donald said: “This consultation is about providing accessible, high quality services that meet the needs of service users in the right location, at the right time.

“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.”

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