Public consultation on improving mental health inpatient services in East Sussex ends

8 September 2021

The local NHS would like to say a big thank you everyone that has taken part in its public consultation about proposals to improve the quality and safety of mental health inpatient services across East Sussex.

The consultation started for 12 weeks on Monday 14 June and closed on Monday 6 September. The proposals are to move inpatient services based at the Department of Psychiatry in Eastbourne District General Hospital to new facilities to be built on a different site.

These services could be relocated to a greenfield site next to Mount View Street, North East Bexhill, Bexhill-on-Sea, or a site around Amberstone Hospital, near Hailsham. The Bexhill site is the preferred option.

If approved, this would be the first phase towards a potential long-term vision to create a leading centre for a range of mental health services on a single ‘campus’, which could, over time, address all mental health inpatient needs in East Sussex.

Hundreds of people, including service users, carers and their families, as well as a wide range of organisations, including those representing those with protect characteristics, have taken part in the consultation. 

Responses were gathered through a range of methods, including an online and printed questionnaire, workshops, focus groups, public meetings, one-to-one interviews and public pop-up stalls.

Programme Director, Paula Kirkland, said: “We have had full and very considered responses to the consultation, with invaluable feedback from a wide variety of individuals and interested organisations. 

“Importantly, we’ve heard from service users, carers and family members, interested organisations and, in particular, we’ve heard from those who are seldom heard or may face additional challenges in using mental health services. We will now use the findings to develop our final proposals. We would like to thank everyone who has got involved for their contributions.”

The responses are being collated and analysed by an independent social research organisation and they will produce a final report during October. 

This will then be used to help develop final proposals which will be considered by the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Board of Directors, the East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body and the East Sussex Health Oversight and Scrutiny Committee in November.

If the final proposals are approved by these bodies, implementation will begin in January next year.

The findings report, alongside all other supporting material, will be published on the Programme website in due course.