Enright Says Trust Mental Health Business Case Is Weak
AS the Mental health Consultation continues in the South Eastern HSC Trust area, Down District Council received a presentation from senior Trust officials on the proposals for the future delivery of mental health care.
Independent Councillor Cadogan Enright commented: “The business case for this proposal appears very weak.
“The move of acute Mental Health from the newly built premises in Downpatrick will require, in addition to the cost of the new build on the Ulster site, £1.3 Million a year more to run.
“I understand that the South Western Health Trust has rejected the suggestion that acute mental health has to be located beside a 24- hour A&E. There is no explanation in your business case as to why we have a pre-determined outcome to this consultation based on this premise. There are no figures demonstrating that these patients have even an irregular need for such access to A/E.
“It is generally accepted that ingress and exit from the Ulster Hospital site is already at its logistical limit, and that parking problems at the Ulster are beyond the critical stage.
“We are all aware that the A/E at the Ulster has been experiencing long delays for many months, and that these problems are not happening at the Down 24-hour service?
“Why is the Trust centralising services on such an unsuitable site? The majority of patients in this Trust area would find the Belfast Trust location more convenient than the Ulster. Most patients and relatives will have to pass the Belfast service to get to the Ulster.
“The aim of the overall policy was to put an acute mental health facility in each Trust area. The effect of your proposal is to put two facilities in Belfast and none in the real Geography of our Trust area.
“This appears to be a case of the over-bloated centre changing the rules to suit a pre-determined outcome in defiance of any economic or social bases.
“This cannot be good for the Trust, and cannot be good for our patients”added Councillor Enright.