Macclesfield – Millbrook Unit under threat: Petition of over 4000 signatures given to the Health Trust Consultation

29th May 2018

Below is the speech delivered by Neil Puttick, Labours Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Macclesfield at the final consultation event last week at Macclesfield Town FC.

Neil said; ‘We have brought the Labour Party petition to keep vital in-patient beds in Macclesfield, which at this moment in time has over 4000 signatures. This must be taken into consideration by this consultation. 

The petition intended to be delivered to Cheshire East and the UK Government, began almost a year ago when Health Professionals and patients began to contact Labour about the threat to local mental health services. 

We have found from speaking to thousands of people across the town, what is clear is almost EVERYONE wants to prioritise keeping in-patient beds available in Macclesfield, including for Dementia and those needing Acute Care. 

The number of signatories represents the strength of feeling to keep local in-patient services: that the wellbeing and good mental health of our area is a key priority for all people whatever their age. That a high quality local mental health service accessible to those in need, must be maintained in Macclesfield. That we should be providing decent, personalised care with early intervention…

It is not just the numbers here on this sheet.  In February I joined a march with hundreds of people (where our MP was not present) to show we need to Fix Our NHS. There I personally interviewed scores of people who said that keeping in-patient facilities for Mental Health was their priority. I would be happy to submit videos of the interviews. 

We have listened to what local people want: The onus is now on this consultation to listen to local people as we have done and act now appropriately. Any consultation that fails to take into account this united strength of feeling is not a consultation at all. Any option that fails to include an option for greater provision of in-patient bed is a failure.’

John Place, a past Director of Human Resources at Macclesfield Health Authority (MHA) said, “I was at MHA between 1987-92 when major mental health service changes took place decanting Parkside Hospital patients back into the community with associated changes at Mary Dendy and Soss Moss Hospitals. Many millions of pounds were re-allocated to central Liverpool NHS services away from Macclesfield with property receipts also from Jones Homes – resulting in Macclesfield local mental health services being stretched for many years!!

I also asked for re-assurances that this public consultation has followed the ‘Gunning Principles’ ? I am concerned that if not, and CWP has already made its mind up about relocating acute adult mental health services to Bowmere Hospital Chester, it could be deemed discriminatory and illegal ultimately leading the process liable to requests for a Judicial Review!! I failed to receive any re-assurance about this important issue, at the final public consultation event at Macclesfield Town FC last week.’

Local Labour councillor, Nick Mannion, also attended the event, and made a plea ’Surely it is not beyond the wit and reason of the NHS to find a way to secure the future of a number of acute beds here in Macclesfield, even if it is a reduction in the current number at the Millbrook? Therefore, I ask the team to look again at the budgets to finding a way to sustain mental health beds in our town.’

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