Plan to reform mental health care in Cambridgeshire

A new mental health service advice and referral centre open 24-hours, seven days a week is wanted by Cambridgeshire residents, a study has revealed.

The study, which was part of a three-month consultation, showed that 59% of respondents backed proposals to open a new centre.

The NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough board is being recommended to back plans to reform mental health services.

Plans will include some cuts and will be discussed on Wednesday.

The study also showed 56% were in favour of setting up a new primary care mental health service to support the centre.

However, 55% of respondents were against proposals to combine a number of inpatient wards for adults and 45% rejected this plan for older people.

The board is being asked to consider closing the Acer adult acute ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, and the James acute ward for older patients at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

A further proposal being discussed is to cut the number of adult rehabilitation beds from 44 to 16 by closing Cobwebs in Cambridge and reducing beds at the Lucille van Geest Centre in Peterborough.

Cathy Mitchell, director of integrated commissioning, said: "We are still recommending that inpatient wards for adults are combined for clinical reasons.

"Even if Acer Ward were to be refurbished to modern standards, the unit would only be about half full because many more people nowadays can be safely cared for in their own homes."

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