Have your say on changes to local mental health services for older people

Residents in Lincolnshire are being asked to share their views as part of a new survey on recent changes to local mental health services for older people.

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) has been piloting a new home treatment approach over the last two years, following the major refurbishment of one of its older adult mental health wards in Lincoln.

This new consultation seeks to hear from patients, carers and their families about the service they now receive and whether it meets their needs.

Steve Roberts, Associate Director for Operations in Older People and Frailty Services at LPFT said: “Over the last three years we have carried out a number of engagement events working with patients, staff, public, and partner organisations to consider and develop our older people and frailty mental health services. As part of this we clearly heard that people wanted community services that worked after 5pm and at weekends, and that they prefer to be treated in their own home, close to carers and family, who are closely involved in their care.

New survey on changes to mental health services for older people in Lincolnshire.New survey on changes to mental health services for older people in Lincolnshire.
New survey on changes to mental health services for older people in Lincolnshire.

“The refurbishment of Brant Ward in Lincoln provided the ideal opportunity to try something different and increase the community support available to enable patients to stay at home safely.”

The new service has greatly reduced the number of patients being admitted to hospital, continuing to safely support patients, their carers and families at home in their own surroundings. Being able to stay at home has also improved patient experience and shown positive outcomes on people’s recovery. The enhanced community support is available seven days a week with extended hours of access.

Mr Roberts continued: “The introduction of home treatment when people require additional support has clearly demonstrated that there is no longer a need for the number of inpatient beds previously provided. When Brant Ward reopened in February 2020, we took the decision to continue our pilot of the home treatment and close Rochford Ward in Boston whilst we continued to gather more information on the impact of the enhanced community service.”

The trust says Rochford Ward does not meet essential quality standards for mental health wards, because it is based on the first floor and has no access to safe outside space. The ward has dormitory style bedrooms with issues of privacy, dignity and safety for patients. This is something which has also been identified by the Care Quality Commission in various national reports and during their inspection of Trust premises.

Jane Marshall, Director of Strategy, Planning and Partnerships at LPFT said: “Two years on from the introduction of the home treatment service we’ve seen really positive results and a much improved patient experience, with fewer patients now needing hospital care. As a Trust, in collaboration with our commissioners NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, we are proposing that we no longer use Rochford Ward and instead the refurbished modern, accessible and therapeutic space at Brant Ward continues to be our main older adult mental health unit. This will enable us to continue to offer and expand our well received home treatment approach.

“We want to make sure this continues to be the right approach for our patients, their carers and families and this consultation gives us the opportunity to carry on our wide ranging engagement and formally consult on proposals. If you, or someone you care for has ever used older people mental health services in the county we would welcome your views. The feedback we receive will support us in ensuring we continue to offer the very best service to our patients, supporting people to live well in their communities.”

As part of the consultation LPFT has launched a brief survey to gather people’s views. The survey and more information about the proposals is available at www.lpft.nhs.uk/older-people-mental-health-consultation

Alternatively people can contact the Trust’s engagement team at [email protected] or call 01529 222 245

The consultation will remain open until March 31, 2021.