Agenda item

Redesigning Inpatient Mental Health Services in East Sussex


13.1.     The Committee considered the Review Board’s draft report on NHS proposals to move mental health inpatient services, which are currently provided at the Department of Psychiatry in Eastbourne District General Hospital, to new facilities to be built on a different site at either Bexhill or Hailsham.

13.2.     The Committee asked whether the CCG and Trust are confident they can deliver the proposals on budget.

13.3.     Jessica Britton said the CCG and Trust are confident that their current plans will deliver the programme on budget. They will continue to refresh and review the plans if there are any changes, and if there are any substantial changes then HOSC will be updated.

13.4.     The Committee asked whether a smaller inpatient mental health satellite service could be retained at Eastbourne District General Hospital (EDGH).

13.5.     Jessica Britton said that the replacement of the Department of Psychiatry was an opportunity to replace existing, dated services with high quality facilities for patients. The existing site does not have the necessary footprint for outdoor therapeutic services, so the new service could not be reprovided at EDGH to meet the requirements of a modern facility. It will be possible, however, to upgrade the dormitory beds at the St. Raphael’s ward on the Conquest Hospital site without moving the service offsite. The CCG and Trust will continue to enhance community mental health provision locally, meaning that patients will still be able to access a high quality community mental health services from the Eastbourne area and throughout the county.

13.6.     The Committee asked what will happen to the urgent care lounge (UCL) at the EDGH when the Department of Psychiatry closes.

13.7.     Simone Button explained that the UCL and psychiatric liaison services are integral part of the acute hospital. Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT) wants to retain the ability to assess patients who attend ED with mental health problems as quickly as possible and be able to move them to a therapeutic UCL whilst they await an inpatient bed elsewhere. These services have dedicated staff and the Trust will ensure they have the right levels of expertise including clinical, nursing and support staff when the Department of Psychiatry closes in 2024, although there may be some cross over of staff to cover both sites.  

13.8.     The Committee asked whether the consultation analysis will include the views of people with protected characteristics, and how stakeholders will be involved in future design of the services.

13.9.     Jessica Britton confirmed that ORS’ analysis of the public consultation will include details of the views of people with protected characteristics and the Decision Making Business Case (DMBC) will make it clear how these views impacted the final plans for the new service. The CCG and Trust conducted an extensive Equality and Health Inequalities Impact Assessment (EHIA) that identified groups with protected characteristics, and they were all targeted during consultation process. Paula Kirkland, Programme Director at SPFT, added that the trust is currently procuring a contractor  who will help develop detailed building plans, once a site is chosen. This process will include involving staff and patients in the development of the aesthetic of the facility, particularly the furniture and the gardens. There will also be a comprehensive community engagement strategy that will look at the social value aspects of the project and how the new facility will benefit the local community, for example, through providing apprenticeships and working with local schools.

13.10.   The Committee asked whether SECAmb had any concerns about the transport of patients to the new site.

13.11.   Ray Savage, Strategic Partnerships Manager (Kent & Medway, East Sussex) at SECAmb, said SECAmb had been looking at the number of conveyances the Trust makes from the scene of an incident, such as a home address, to the Department of Psychiatry  and it was around two per week. The impact of any relocation to Bexhill or Hailsham will be modelled further, but it is not envisaged it will cause any particular challenges to the continuation of the service SECAmb provides from the address of an  incident, particularly as few incidents are nearby to the current Department of Psychiatry and for some the new location will mean a shorter journey.  Ray Savage added that there is a further conversation ongoing with the commissioners about the transfer of patients from acute hospital sites to the new facility.

13.12.   The Committee RESOLVED to:

36.   1)  endorse the draft report and recommendations of the HOSC Review Board attached as Appendix 1;

37.   2)  agree that the Review Board finalises the report after considering the outcome of the public consultation; 

38.   3)  agree to refer the final report to East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group for consideration as part of its decision-making process; and

39.   4) request that the report to HOSC on 2nd December includes a summary of the final Equality and Health Inequalities Impact Assessment (EHIA).


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