Nearly £160m could be spent on improving inpatient mental health services in South West London as a set of consultation evenings begin with two proposals outlined ahead of World Mental Health Day today.
The funding will improve the facilities at two sites in Kingston and Wandsworth, turning these ‘Victorian’ and ‘unusable’ buildings into centres of excellence for mental health.
A second proposal, of £140million, will modernise these hospitals as well as improving another hospital, Queen Mary’s in Roehampton.
Trust spokesman, Edward Williams, said: “We need to vastly improve the outdated wards.
“Many of our inpatients are at their most vulnerable and the facilities are not modern enough.
“With the funding, we can improve on the space and locations of our wards – this will bring us up to the top standards of care.”
Despite improvements in recent years physical health needs tend to take precedence over mental health issues.
Mr Williams added: “We need to allow the same level of treatment that we afford for physical health needs for mental health too.
“Whichever plan is implemented, we will try to keep the transition smooth.
“Some wards, like schizophrenia, require specialised care and we do not want to disturb the work of our clinicians too greatly.”
Schizophrenia affects one person in every 100 while a quarter of citizens in the UK come into contact with mental health issues per year.
Mr Williams added that since feedback from the public has been encouraging since the consultation period started on September 29, with five more arranged before sessions conclude on December 21.
The whole process has been arranged by the South West London clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) – from Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth along with NHS England and the South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust.
The dates and times for the consultation evenings are listed below:
October 28, 7-9pm: Kingston United Reformed Church, Richard Mayo Centre, Eden Street, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 1HZ
November 6, 7-9pm: Riverside Room, Old Town Hall, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond Upon Thames, TW9 1TP
November 10, 7-9pm: Wimbledon Guild, Drake House (Hall), 44 St. George’s Road, Wimbledon, London, SW19 4ED
November 13, 7-9pm: Large Hall, Sutton Salvation Army, 45 Benhill Avenue, Sutton, SM1 4DD
November 19 2014, 7-9pm: South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, Conference Room A, Building 14, Springfield University Hospital, 61 Glenburnie Road, London, SW17 7DJ
Picture courtesy of dawolf, with thanks