Lincolnshire

Grantham's Sycamore Assessment Unit to close

A mental health unit in Lincolnshire is to be closed because it no longer comes up to modern standards.

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said the seven-bed Sycamore Assessment Unit in Grantham could not be effectively upgraded.

Assessments would now be carried out in Boston or Lincoln and there would be greater emphasis on pre-emptive care in the community.

The 41 members of staff would be offered other posts, managers added.

NHS bosses said the unit, adapted from an old children's home, had small rooms and a complex layout which made monitoring patients difficult.

'Less local'

It has been closed to new patients with immediate effect and managers said a detailed closure programme was being developed in consultation with users and their families.

Medical director of the trust, Dr John Brewin, insisted standards of care would be maintained.

"I would argue that we are going to make the service safer and more effective," he said.

"If we can manage more people at home, where they don't have to come into hospital, they don't get disconnected from their community and we will be admitting them to units we know are safer and offer a better quality of service.

"So, while appreciating it is less local, the quality of service will be at least maintained or at least better."

Other services based in the town, such as rehabilitation and community visit teams, will not be affected, he added.

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