Mental Health Unit to be Axed

Letter from BSCF Committee Member to the Hertfordshire Partnership (NHS) Trust

Chair
Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Trust
99 Waverley Road
St Albans
Hertfordshire
AL3 5TL
18 January 2007

Dear Ms Llewelyn-Davies

I read in the local newspaper (the Herts and Essex Observer dated January 11 2007) that the Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Trust revealed this week it is relocating services at the purpose built Kitwood Unit at the Herts and Essex Community Hospital to Seward Lodge in Hertford.

I would be grateful if you could inform me about the justification for this decision in terms of :

a. health services to residents in East Herts. The population of Bishop’s Stortford is 50% larger than Hertford’s. If you live in East Herts, Hertford is not well served by public transport. How do you envisage frail and elderly patients, some suffering from degrees of dementia, and their families and friends, will travel to Hertford? Exactly what benefits have you in mind that cannot now be provided by the Kitwood Unit very effectively.

b. the financial justification for leaving a purpose built unit which is only 4 years old.

c. the costs of the move in terms of staff redundancies and any expansion needed at Seward Lodge.

d. what are the improvements in efficiency and health care outcomes to which the article refers, and how you propose to measure them?

e. whom you consulted and what the comments were?

I look forward to your reply.

I am copying this letter to Mark Prisk M.P.

Yours Sincerely

Mrs M. Rhodes


Reply from Hertfordshire Partnership (NHS) Trust (3 pages)  Top 

Reply from Hertforshire Partnership (NHS) Trust  - Page 1

Reply from Hertforshire Partnership (NHS) Trust - Page 2

Reply from Hertforshire Partnership (NHS) Trust - Page 3

Briefing Paper (2 pages) cited in above letter from Hertfordshire Partnership (NHS) Trust

 Top 
Reply from Hertforshire Partnership (NHS) Trust - Page 3

 Top 
Reply from Hertforshire Partnership (NHS) Trust - Page 3

BSCF's response to letter from Hertfordshire Partnership (NHS) Trust  Top 

Chair
Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Trust
99 Waverley Road
St Albans
Hertfordshire
AL3 5TL
28 February 2007

Dear Ms Llewelyn- Davies

Closure of Kitwood Unit:Herts and Essex Hospital

Thank you for your reply to my letter dated 30 January 2007. I read your comments with interest and I have now read the consultation document ‘ Investing in your Mental Health’ and the summary of responses.

I still do not find a convincing case for the closure of the Kitwood Unit and moving its services to Seward Lodge. You point out the decision was made by the East and North Herts PCT. The reasons were a mixture of financial, improving quality of care and bringing services within the County.

On financial issues, I assume that the PCT will have consulted the Partnership about the costs of the various options. Your letter focuses on staff savings and related costs. However the Herts and Esssex Community Hospital ( which houses the Kitwood Unit) was financed by a pfi and will remain a charge on the NHS ( and the taxpayer) for many years to come. Seward Lodge will no doubt require capital expenditure to provide the additional services outlined in the paper.

You mention the provision of a day hospital outreach service and outpatient clinic in Bishop’s Stortford. This will mean additional costs and will not meet the specific needs of patients who are no longer capable of being looked after at home. All these options had been exhausted in the case of the elderly friend I visited in the Kitwood Unit. The financial and social costs of this proposal to patients and their families in East Herts have not been recognised at all. It is highly likely that the net cost to the taxpayer will be considerably greater than the savings the Trust is trying to make under its proposals.

Finally the consultation paper stresses the importance of centralising services within the county, but the Kitwood Unit also satisfies this criterion since the Herts and Essex Hospital in within the Hertfordshire County Boundary.

Yours sincerely

Mrs M. Rhodes


Reply from Hertfordshire Partnership (NHS) Trust (2 pages)  Top 

Reply from Hertfordshire Partnership (NHS) Trust - Page 1

Reply from Hertfordshire Partnership (NHS) Trust - Page 2