Health chiefs unveil final mental healthcare plans for West Sussex

25 February 2021
  • Local NHS announces final plans to improve mental health in West Sussex
  • Proposals revised following extensive public consultation
  • They mean that patients will receive higher-quality care in  modern wards
  • Proposals to be implemented between March 2021 and July 2022
  • Further work to be carried out following West Sussex scrutiny committee

The local NHS today (Thursday) announced final proposals to improve mental healthcare in West Sussex for adults, older people and those living with dementia.

West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (Sussex Partnership) put forward proposals in July 2019 to move old and poor-quality wards in Chichester and Horsham to more modern wards in Worthing and Crawley. 

These plans also provided the opportunity to create single-sex wards across West Sussex to meet national guidelines and develop a Centre of Excellence for dementia care in Worthing.

Following a public consultation on the plans between July and October 2019, these original proposals were reviewed in light of responses received from hundreds of people, including service users, carers, families, representative groups, charities and politicians.

Sussex NHS Commissioners’ Dementia Clinical Lead, Bikram Raychaudhuri GP, said: "Our proposals mean that people with serious mental health problems and dementia will receive high-quality care in modern and safe environments which preserve their privacy and dignity. 

"By involving as many people as possible before and during the consultation - especially service users and those who care for them - we have been able to develop revised proposals which we believe answer the concerns and issues raised, and provide improved ways of caring for people now and for the future. We thank everyone who took part.”

Senior Responsible Officer for Sussex Partnership, Simone Button, added:

“Our revised proposals give us a unique opportunity to establish a Centre of Excellence for Dementia - a move widely supported by people who responded to the consultation.

“We believe this will improve outcomes for people with dementia who have physical health problems and those with long-term physical health conditions who have cognitive difficulties. The improvements also go hand-in-hand with improvements to community mental health services to help people stay in their own homes rather than go to hospital.

The new proposals address the following issues:

Revised approach to single sex wards - all wards, except dementia wards, will now remain mixed-sex but will have segregated areas between men and women. There will be mixed communal lounges alongside segregated female lounges. This acknowledges that mixed sex wards can better reflect real life environments for inpatients.

Oaklands Ward in Chichester will become mixed-sex rather than male-only as originally planned. This will allay concerns that there would be no female inpatient beds in the Chichester area.

Transport - people were concerned that they would need to travel further because of the moves. The revised proposals set out ways to help people who may be affected, including paying additional expenses.

These plans have been approved and assured by NHS England and NHS Improvement, the Sussex Partnership Board of Directors, West Sussex CCG Governing Body.

As the final part of the governance and assurance process, the plans were considered by the West Sussex Adult and Social Care Scrutiny Committee. 

The Chairman recommended that the committee supported the proposals, in particular recognising how the NHS has responded to the issues raised during consultation and noting the development of the centre of excellence for dementia. 

However, requested that the NHS report back later in the year to assure the committee regarding services for older people with mental health needs in west of the county, measures to continue to address identified transport issues and implementation of plans. 

To see a full summary of the proposals, the Decision Making Business Case which sets out the proposals in detail and the processes undertaken to come to the final decisions, and a report setting out the independent feedback and analysis from the consultation and other engagement activity