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SALFORD PROTESTS AGAINST MENTAL HEALTH BED CUTS
 

Star date: 6th November 2013

`DON'T CLOSE MENTAL HEALTH WARDS'

Service users, trade union members and anti-cuts campaigners protested outside the entrance to the Meadowbrook Unit at Salford Royal Hospital yesterday as part of a campaign against Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust cuts that could see ward closures in Salford and Bolton for older people with dementia and acute anxiety.

"I think it's important to come down and make a stand" said one service user "Services have been cut to the bone already."

Full details here…


Salford Protest Against Mental Health Service Ward Closures and Cuts Salford Protest Against Mental Health Service Ward Closures and Cuts Salford Protest Against Mental Health Service Ward Closures and Cuts
Salford Protest Against Mental Health Service Ward Closures and Cuts Salford Protest Against Mental Health Service Ward Closures and Cuts Salford Protest Against Mental Health Service Ward Closures and Cuts
Bolton Protest Against Mental Health Service Ward Closures and Cuts Bolton Protest Against Mental Health Service Ward Closures and Cuts
click image to enlarge

Yesterday afternoon, the entrance to the Meadowbrook Unit on Stott Lane saw campaigners leafleting visitors and lobbying the Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMW Trust) about cuts to mental health services which could see wards closed in Salford and Bolton.

GMW Trust wants to `redesign' older adult mental health in-patient services, slashing the number of beds available for people with dementia, acute anxiety and depression in Salford by almost a half, from 66 to 35, and closing the Claremont ward at Meadowbrook in order to `re-locate' it, with less beds, miles away at Woodlands in Little Hulton. It also wants to shut down the Hawthorn facility in Bolton, reducing the overall beds in both areas from 116 to 70.

The GMW Trust argues that the units in both Salford and Bolton are `under capacity' – but minutes from the Salford Mental Health Partnership Board from 2011 state quite clearly that "The population is aging and with this comes the prediction of a 61% increase in dementia by 2026 and increasing demand on mental health and social care services"...

The GMW Trust explains that the new system would mean a "more efficient use of beds" as well as "enhancing the patient experience". Others beg to differ, hence the protest called by Salford Against The Cuts and U.S.U.C. (United Service Users Committee), with support from Keep Our NHS Public, Salford City UNISON and the GMW Trust's own workers' trade union Greater Manchester West Mental Health UNISON.

These organisations believe the moves are about slashing services, with the GMW Trust trying to make over £10million of cuts across Salford, Bolton and Trafford. Indeed its own report states that the loss of beds will help it achieve "the required savings target".

The `enhanced patient experience' would mean "patients to be managed in the community for as long as possible, thus avoiding unnecessary hospital admission"…

"How can we believe promises about `care in the community' when the ConDem Government is hell-bent on destroying communities?" stated Salford Against the Cuts yesterday "1500 mental health hospital beds have disappeared in recent years, we mustn't lose any more in Salford, Bolton and Trafford. Planned ward closures in Greater Manchester West Trust, including the re-location of adult dementia patients away from their families, are unacceptable."

At the protest were many mental health service users worried about the general slashing of services, of which the ward closures are the latest example…

"I've been in Meadowbrook on many, many occasions, it's saved my life many times and it's important that these wards stay open" said Phil Hamer who attended the demonstration "We've got staff here from the hospital supporting us because they know all the good work that's being done in Meadowbrook.

"We've got a purpose built hospital here with new wards, excellent security and safety, and it's local, with great bus services, and it's next to the main hospital so if people are poorly they can go straight over the road to A and E; it's got everything" he added "I feel it's important that this hospital stays here because it is well, well used."

Phil explained how rumours are sweeping the mental health service users community that the Claremont ward cut is just the tip of the iceberg, and that the GMW Trust might eventually centralise services in Prestwich hospital, which would be back to the old `asylum' days of mental health stigma… "Basically we just don't know what's going on, except that they are thinking of closing a ward here and in Bolton, but it would be nice to find out."

Service user, Billy McLean, was also at the protest.

"I've come down because I've got complex and ongoing mental health issues and I've been struggling to get the right support for a long time because of the cuts which have been implemented already" he said "If they make any more cuts to services I'm going to find it even more difficult. I think it's important to come down and make a stand.

"Services have been cut to the bone already" he added "I had a crisis last week, had to come in A and E, and they couldn't do a lot for me. I think it's important to preserve these services. Service users themselves are getting involved and campaigning against cuts that are affecting them personally, which gives these protests added weight and importance."

Indeed, the Salford demonstration follows a similar protest in Bolton recently attended by around fifty people, including a GMW Trust governor, as service users, trade unions and the community begin to fight back.

For more information and to sign the e-petition against the closures – click here

Bilko wrote
at 06:27:55 on 08 February 2014
Plans which Councillor Andy Morgan’s government would like to see implemented, are being discussed by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Bolton, Salford and Trafford, and Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Trust. Those plans would deprive mental health patients of NHS facilities which are near their homes and their families. The plans would mean that patients who normally use facilities at Bolton, Salford and Trafford would have to travel to Prestwich. The plans would cause harm to poorer patients because they and their families would have to travel many miles further. Councillor Andy Morgan’s Government believes that an 85% bed occupancy rate is a safe one – however: The bed closures which Councillor Andy Morgan’s government and the Clinical Commissioning Groups wish to implement would mean: a bed occupancy rate in Bolton of well over 98%. greater stress for patients and their families. patient recovery time being prolonged. access to leave being reduced. contact with family and friends reduced. community workers having to travel further. Councillor Andy Morgan’s government are cutting NHS funding by £20 BILLION, whilst expecting the NHS to provide the same service….well actually, they don’t expect anything of the kind; they expect private businesses to take over. The policies which Councillor Andy Morgan’s government have implemented: have resulted in the closure of 1500 ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED mental health beds closing in England in the last 2 years. mean that NHS mental health care is now in crisis, with duty workers across England reporting times when there are no beds available anywhere. mean that mental illness is increasing due to stress. mean that the number of elderly people is increasing, while services for them are being cut. mean that replacement services are not defined. mean that replacement Services have not been piloted. mean that replacement services are not evidence based. mean that there will be a net loss of jobs. mean that section 188 threat of redundancy notice have been given to the unions representing staff. The policies which Councillor Andy Morgan’s government which to impose on NHS Mental Health Services are financially driven, not patient-care driven. Cllr Andy Morgan, who sits on Bolton Council’s health scrutiny committee says: “It’s not about savings…”. He is right…it’s about CUTS…£20 BILLION OF THEM. Cllr Andy Morgan, who sits on Bolton Council’s health scrutiny committee says: “…it’s about improving services…”. He is wrong…none of the above bullet points are improvements. Cllr Andy Morgan, who sits on Bolton Council’s health scrutiny committee, says: “It’s about caring for people in their own homes.” He is wrong…it’s about shutting down NHS facilities and handing them to private health companies. Cllr Andy Morgan should get off Bolton Council Health Overview and Scrutiny committee. Cllr Andy Morgan and his vile Government should stop playing politics with the NHS.
 
Paul wrote
at 03:13:25 on 07 November 2013
Salford-online Your Council Posted by Tony Flynn on 20th September 2012 at 11:27 AM City Mayor welcomes new committees Salford City Mayor will be held to account by new scrutiny select committees under plans approved by the council. Earlier this year, a 15-member working group was established to review the council’s governance structure. Its recommendations included the introduction of a new Scrutiny Select Committee system to scrutinise decisions made by the City Mayor, Ian Stewart. The new structure, containing seven Scrutiny Select Committees, means there will be more scrutiny of decisions and accountability. It allows members to scrutinise the policies of the City Mayor and to ensure his policies have been implemented in line with the City Mayor’s original plans. The Scrutiny Select Committees will focus on several of the council’s services, with health and budget issues cutting across the new structure. A new Overview and Scrutiny Select Committee will be established to oversee all of the committees and make sure they are working effectively. The new model will not cost the taxpayer any more than the present system. Now that the model has been approved by a full meeting of Salford Council, further work will be done to decide on the Overview and Scrutiny Select Committee’s terms of reference and working practices. The new model is expected to begin October. City Mayor Ian Stewart said: “The introduction of the new scrutiny select committee system at Salford Council is a positive step in improving our democratic governance structures and accountability. “In this new post as elected mayor, I now have responsibility for the full legal, operational and strategic running of the council. Salford Council is an £800m gross organisation with a £300m annual budget and 11,000 employees. It is important, therefore, that we have a modern, effective scrutiny system that will ensure my policies have been implemented efficiently with an emphasis on providing value for public money.” Source: Salford Council. Democracy and accountability my arse, 15 Ian Stewart arse lickers
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 18:13:55 on 06 November 2013
I am furious that people are forced to campaign in a Labour Controlled City on this need. Very dear to my heart, having lost mother and father to mental health at end of their lives. Our Mayor and Councillors must think again. There but for the grace of God are we.
 
Kenneth w mckelvey wrote
at 17:39:28 on 06 November 2013
Everybody must have sympathy with these people who are on medical aftercare/To me personally any money spent on Medical Care is money invested/ Health Care /Education/ Decent Housing/ Job Creation/ These are the Things us older Salford people grew to expect as the norm/ We paid in our Contributions through 50 yrs of Tax and National Insurance Contributions/ Now we have a Government who seems to think our Pension and Health Care is Negotionable and open to Cut Price Operators mainly Foreign who have been greasing Their palms for years,So As Anybody got any plans for When they Attack us Oldies Because we are next That is Racing Certainty.So stick up against all these Cuts. Now Because we are next.!
 
Ms SUSAN M DOE wrote
at 13:38:19 on 06 November 2013
since the closer of cromwell house i have been under the crisis team after a brake down , im now scared of going out on my own we need these places they are a life line i have suffered with mental health for a long time i wish these lovely people who are my friends and fellow suffers and who have never judged me i am truley sad that i couldnt be there with them keep up the good work xx this goverment have no idea what its like and they dont give a dam who they hurt as long as they have a bulging wallet shame on them camron clegg are the scum of the earth
 
Lisa L wrote
at 10:55:06 on 06 November 2013
Good luck to every service user who is involved in these continuing protests! The non stop cuts to mental health services in Salford is completely unethical. They target the most vulnerable people in our city, and if this is about saving money then the lack of day services is already having a hugely negative impact on people's lives, and now this? The best, most committed staff have been bullied out of their jobs or off sick due to the ongoing stress of the changes. I have the utmost respect for the ongoing campaign to save vital mental health services. Good luck x
 
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