Mark secures Adjournment Debate on Mental Health Services in Lancashire

(December 06, 2010)

Mark has secured an Adjournment Debate on Wednesday (8th December) to question the Minister of State for Care Services, Paul Burstow MP about ‘Acute Mental Health Provision in Lancashire’ and in particular the closure of the Avondale Mental Health inpatient facility in Preston.

Mark has called for this debate following the campaign run by the SAFE (Save the Avondale Unit For Everyone) group which is campaigning against the closure of the Avondale Mental Health Unit in Preston by Lancashire Care NHS Trust by the end of the year.

Mark who is a member of the group, has been presented with a petition with 65,000 signatures against the closure of the Avondale Unit and other units across Lancashire. Mark is expected to present the petition to the Health Minister and call into question the decisions made by Lancashire Care NHS Trust.

Patients will now have to travel or be transported to a ‘network bed’ when one becomes available in Chorley, Ormskirk or Blackpool, which has considerable cost and safety implications. A replacement unit at Whyndyke Farm in Blackpool which has yet to be built will not be operational until 2013.

Mark said: “Removing local mental health inpatient beds in Preston will have a profound detrimental effect on the recovery and treatment of people who require acute mental health care. There’s been a total lack of transparency by Lancashire Care NHS Trust and a complete disregard for the wellbeing of the most vulnerable people of Preston and indeed Lancashire.”

Andy Hanson, Chairman, SAFE, said: “We remain deeply concerned that the removal of local acute inpatient facilities will about serious negative effects on the people of Preston. No evidence exists that demonstrates that large remote hospitals far from local services and support systems improve mental health services, but a vast amount of evidence exists to the contrary.”

NB: To read the transcript of the debate, please click on the 'Mark in Parliament' tab above and then click on Mental Health Services (Lancashire).

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