Patients’ fears as mental health day centre faces the axe
PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:26 24 February 2017
Patients at a mental health day hospital threatened with closure have launched an online petition to save it.
Several walk-in patients have told the Recorder that if the Plaistow-based Newham Acute Day Hospital shuts, it could harm their recovery in the future.
The service, which provides an alternative to hospital admission, could be axed under current consultation plans by health provider East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT).
However, 31-year-old James Blampied says the hospital is a “lifeline” to him and others.
“Before I went there a couple of years ago, I wasn’t able to function properly,” he said.
The Upton Park resident hopes the petition will prevent alternative initiatives – home treatment team visits, access to alternative group support and in-patient wards – being the only viable solution.
“The wards can be a traumatic experience in itself,” he explained.
Mum-of-three Amelie Delarue, who has bipolar disorder, agreed.
“The hospital makes me feel safe, saves me from myself,” said the 48-year-old.
“It makes my family feel they can rest a little bit because they know I am here.”
At present, service users benefit from group activities including mindfulness and creative arts as well as free transport and lunch.
The “friendly” staff and environment helps patients to feel at ease with one another in social interactions.
For John McAndrew, the hospital has enabled him to leave the house for the first time “in months”.
The 34-year-old said: “I couldn’t be around people. It has helped me come out socially and get up in the morning. My mum thinks there is a big improvement.”
John said he does not think the home treatment team visits will be as effective and he would be unable to continue some visits to the hospital without the offer of free transport.
An ELFT spokesman said: “The number of patients we can treat through in-patient services at Newham Day Hospital is limited.
“By caring through our home treatment teams we will be able to look after more patients in a way most prefer. We are planning to offer some provision at our home treatment team base for people to come and see staff and have a hot meal.”
He added that individual transport problems and general concerns will be dealt with individually.
Patients and carers can find out more at a consultation meeting at 1pm on Friday, February 24 at the hospital.
To sign the petition visit petition.parliament.uk/petitions/183463.
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