Hospital bosses to ‘consult on future’ of Newham mental health day hospital

The Acute Day Hospital is based at Newham Centre for Mental Health in Plaistow. Picture: East London

The Acute Day Hospital is based at Newham Centre for Mental Health in Plaistow. Picture: East London Foundation Trust - Credit: ELFT

The future of a walk-in hospital which provides intensive support for people with mental health issues could lie in the balance.

Health bosses from East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), who are responsible for Newham Acute Day Hospital in Plaistow, have told the Recorder that they are to “consult on its future” although they have not verified whether this means a closure.

The announcement follows a claim from an anonymous source that the hospital, based at the Newham Centre for Mental Health, Cherry Tree Way, has been earmarked for closure.

Professor Jonathan Warren, ELFT’s deputy executive, said: “No decision has been taken on Newham Day Hospital as we are still to consult on its future, but we want to see if there are better ways of caring for patients.”

On ELFT’s website, it states: “The Acute Day Hospital provides assessment and treatment to people who are experiencing a mental health emergency of a nature or severity that would otherwise require admission to inpatient services.

“The team provide prompt, intensive support to people at the time they most need help, aiming to avoid further deterioration and alleviate distress as quickly as possible”

Services enable people to visit the hospital as day patients as an “alternative to hospital admission”.

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They can return home in the evenings to their own communities, resulting in “minimised” disruption to their lives and those who care for them.

However, an ELFT statement said that the day hospital is “currently under-used” and is only open during office hours from Monday to Friday and for a few hours for some patients at weekends.

It also said that day hospitals have been phased out in most areas providing mental health serivces and that the trust no longer has such a function in neighbouring boroughs where it operates.

Alternative support could include a Home Treatment Team offering intensive support to people in their own homes with visits up to 8pm, 364 days of the year.

A full team in A&E and a 24-hour phone line people are also available.

The statement also said that some of the money saved by a possible hospital closure could be re-invested into the Home Treatment Team through increasing the team’s capacity.