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18th Day of Lent: Going without respite beds, going with fake extra capacity

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Newsweek Forgery - fake capacity

John writes:

“Ashcroft is a female residential unit which provides support to people who, due to mental health difficulties, need periods of residential care. For many, regular planned respite for short periods forms a key part of their care plan. This respite enables them to build their resilience, access therapies and talk to familiar staff about their mental health concerns. In addition to planned respite, these people can use Ashcroft at short notice when they have a mental health crisis. The rapid access to familiar staff in a supportive environment can quickly reduce risk and improve mental health. The combination of planned and emergency respite in Ashcroft are key components of the care plans of many female service users in Norfolk. These care plans maintain their well-being and keep them out of hospital.”
“Sadly these women have now been told that they can no longer have emergency respite at Ashcroft and that there will be limits to how much planned respite they can have. Why? Because the trust have booked all but one respite bed at Ashcroft to use to hurry people out of hospital. Is this NSFT’s much discussed ‘alternative to hospital admission’ plan? To use beds already being used to keep people out of hospital? This will not create more capacity, it will simply disrupt the care plans of many vulnerable service users. Who made this decision? Was it risk assessed? Or was this yet another knee jerk reaction from a trust in crisis?”
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