Work 'put on hold' for Harrogate's £16 million "state of the art" mental health facility

Works to deliver a "state of the art" purpose-built mental health facility in Harrogate have been put on hold as a £6.5 million deficit in local health services has been announced.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 3rd July 2017, 3:08 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd July 2017, 3:11 pm
Construction of the facility was hoped to be finished by next year, but now work has been paused in light of the deficit.
Construction of the facility was hoped to be finished by next year, but now work has been paused in light of the deficit.

Contractors are already onsite, widening the road in preparation for the construction of a £16 million mental health facility on Beckwith Head Road.

But a decision by the NHS Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group (HaRD CCG) has paused the work to conduct a 'thorough review' in light of a forecasted £6.5 million deficit in their budget.

Amanda Bloor, chief officer of HaRD CCG, said: “The local health system in Harrogate is facing a significant financial challenge.

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“This year the CCG has a planned deficit of £6.5m. This means we need to make sure we review how all funding is spent and consider especially carefully any longer term investments.

“This is why, in partnership with our partners in Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, we need to identify good quality, long term, affordable and sustainable options, based on clinical evidence and best practice and we want to involve local people and mental health staff in developing those options.”

The decision was also taken by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) which manages and delivers mental health services for the north, including the Harrogate District.

The purpose-built £16 million facility was hailed as a "state of the art" in-patient unit to replace the mental health services at the Briary wing of Harrogate District Hospital.

But now "a thorough review of options for developing adult and older people’s mental health services in the area" will be undertaken.

In its statement, TEWV Trust said: "These options will need to take into account the issues facing the local NHS such as the increasing demand for mental health services and the poor quality of the current inpatient environment in the Briary Wing."

Brent Kilmurray, chief operating officer at TEWV, said: “We already know that people want to receive the care and support they need as close to home as possible.

“We now have the opportunity to work together to think about new models of care that support people to live fulfilling and meaningful lives in their community, irrespective of their symptoms or diagnosis.

“This means reducing dependency on beds, working with individuals to achieve the goals they set themselves and making sure that support is available when someone is experiencing a crisis.

“We will also need to make sure that when people need to spend time in hospital they have access to inpatient accommodation that supports 21st century mental health care.”

Ms Bloor has encouraged people to have their say as part of the review of local health services.

She said: “Over the coming weeks and months we will be asking people to give us their views.

“We’ll provide more information very soon on how people can do that and I would encourage people to get involved.”