Nick joined Julia George’s BBC Radio Kent program this morning to discuss, in some detail, the unanimous decision by Medway Councillors to refer to the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, the decision by the Kent and Medway Social Care Partnership Trust to close the Acute Mental Health bed admission provision at Medway Maritime Hospital.
Nick was joined, in the discussions, by Brian Clark, whose daughter suffers with mental health problems and is treated locally in Medway.
Brian spoke movingly about the effects of the proposal on his daughter and their wider family.
Nick stressed, as he has previously, that the proposed closure is part of an ongoing process that has seen Kent lose two out of an original six Acute Admission sites, already, so that Medway closing would end up seeing the number of admission sites halved in less than two years.
He pointed out that the proposals do involve a reduction in Acute Admission beds, County wide, from 180, to 162. This has to be placed in the context of admission beds already running at 100% occupancy (against a recommended level of 85%).
He spoke also of the effect of displacement on patients and their families and carers, saying that it is the worst thing you can do for vulnerable mental health patients, to take them out of their local area and community links at a time of crisis.
Nick also highlighted the fact that this is a nationwide problem and spoke about Hannah Groves, the young student in Southampton who took her own life when she and her mum were unable to secure an admission to hospital for Hannah despite repeated requests.
To listen to the discussion please click below:-