• St Andrew’s Healthcare to sell one of its hospitals to Nottinghamshire Healthcare FT
  • Firm’s CEO has previously indicated intention to downsize
  • Comes amid concern over care at some of the provider’s inpatient units

One of the largest independent providers of mental health inpatient care in England intends to sell a hospital site to its local NHS trust.

St Andrew’s Healthcare has announced it intends to sell its Mansfield Hospital to Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.

The boards of both organisations need to approve the sale. Nottinghamshire Healthcare will put the decision to its board this week.

St Andrew’s has said it wants to refocus on community-based care, and its chief executive Katie Fisher recently told the Guardian it wanted to downsize its services.

Mansfield Hospital is a 64-bed hospital site with three separate units for men with autism spectrum disorder and learning disabilities. The units are a mix of medium and low secure care. Currently, 43 patients are being cared for in the hospital.

St Andrew’s Healthcare, a charity, is one of the largest independent providers of inpatient mental health care in England. It has recently come under close public scrutiny following care concerns raised about a number of its inpatient units.

In October 2018, Mansfield Hospital was rated “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission and placed into special measures. The CQC upgraded its rating to “requires improvement” in August 2019.

The regulator has also raised concerns about overall leadership at St Andrew’s Healthcare. 

Ms Fisher said in a statement: ”We are committed to supporting the government’s transforming care programme [which seeks to move people with autism or learning disabilities into the community]. By making this change we will be able to reduce the number of people with autism and learning disabilities who are living in secure care and increase the number of individuals who are supported within the community, in a less restrictive setting.

“We’re working very closely with Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust to see if they would like to recruit existing St Andrew’s staff, and we will make every effort to find other roles within St Andrew’s for those who are able to work at our Birmingham, Northampton and Essex hospitals.”

Nottinghamshire Healthcare chief John Brewin said: “We have long known that our current unit, Millbrook, is not fit for purpose and our patients deserve a better physical environment when they are at their most vulnerable and unwell. Our staff work very hard in conditions which are not as good as they should be.”