We are now over two weeks into the Mental Health Acute Care consultation. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to fill in our consultation questionnaire so far.

Our four drop-in sessions have been well attended, with approximately 200 people coming along to discuss the possible changes to Mental Health Acute Care Services. The events are part of the on-going public consultation on proposals including:

  • Increasing inpatient beds by 16 so that people can access them earlier and to stop people being  placed out of Dorset
  • The introduction of community front rooms– safe places to go when things start to go wrong, based in familiar settings within the community
  • Creation of Retreats– safe places where people can get the right treatment and support when they need it, located with mental health teams
  • Improvements to 24/7 crisis telephone line to include a new service called Connection

Kerry, a Peer Support worker with lived experience who has been supporting some of the events said:

“These events are a safe place for people to come and talk about the future of mental health services and find out more about how the proposals might work for them and others in their communities. We’ve had some really good conversations with people so far and we’ve been able to explain how people would be empowered to have more control over their own recovery. I would encourage anyone with an interest in mental health to come along to one of these events to find out more and have your say.”

All the drop-in sessions have been staffed by members of the mental health team at NHS Dorset CCG, who are passionate and well informed about the consultation. Dr Paul French, Mental Health Lead at the CCG, as well as representatives from Dorset Healthcare and Dorset Mental Health Forum have also been present at each event, meaning that conversations with people have been meaningful and productive.

Tony, a representative of a mental health provider added “it was good to be able to have an opportunity to discuss peoples experience of mental health services and explore their views on future developments in mental health care in Dorset.”

We will be holding 11 more drop-in events across the whole of the county. We want to provide as many opportunities as possible for people find out about what these changes to acute mental health services may mean, and to tell us their views by filling in the consultation questionnaire. If you want to come and speak to a member of the team, here are the upcoming drop-in sessions:

Anyone who is unable to attend an event or would prefer not to attend can still have their say by picking up a consultation document and questionnaire locally or online. Please take a few minutes to read about how we want services to look in the future and tell us what you think about these proposed changes.

Copies are available from a range of places including GP practices and hospitals. People without internet access can call 01202 541946 to find out where they can pick up a copy locally or request a copy through the post.

For the latest information visit www.dorsetsvision.nhs.uk or follow us on social media twitter.com/DorsetCCG or Facebook.com/NHSDorsetCCG.

The public consultation runs up to 31 March 2017.