‘Inadequate’ mental health care criticised

jpco 18-6-14 New Mayor Brenda Smith  (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140616-152614001
jpco 18-6-14 New Mayor Brenda Smith (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140616-152614001

Mental health patients get an ‘inadequate’ service and residents are concerned for their safety, a councillor has said.

Members of the Health and Adult Social Care (HASC)committee heard an update on mental health services and Langley Green Hospital during its meeting at County Hall, Chichester.

Cllr Brenda Smith (Lab, Langley Green & West Green) said she had ‘absolutely no feedback’ about the hospital, in Martyrs Avenue, since it was heavily criticised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last year.

Jonathan Beder, the new service director at the hospital, said the CQC had undertaken another inspection in January. He said the report would be published in April and he was optimistic about what the results would be.

Cllr Smith said: “I’ve had no contact with anybody since it closed.

“I have to deal with questions from the public when they read reports in the paper. They are concerned about their safety in the community.”

She added that she had seen an application for an increase to the height of fences. She said: “If security there has changed I think the local councillor should be informed.”

She added: “I was shocked to find dementia patient reviews would be reduced to once a year instead of twice a year. I don’t know if that’s been reverted back. I wrote to the trust to ask for an answer but haven’t heard anything.”

Sam Allen, commercial director of the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, apologised for the lack of communication and invited Cllr Smith to visit the team for an update. She added that the hospital worked to national guidance on reviews.

Mr Beder explained that one issue for the hospital was recruitment, as workers could get higher salaries by working in Surrey.

Cllr Smith added that waiting time for people in Crawley to access Time to Talk, a talking therapy service for people with mental health issues, was around six months.

She said: “It may be a good service but it’s totally inadequate in Crawley.”

Committee member Mike Burdett said he was keen to see the inspection results for the hospital.

He said: “We are glad about the improvements but the jury’s still out.”