Isle of Wight mental health drop-in service media statement

Our Safe Haven on the Isle of Wight, a drop in service for people experiencing a mental health crisis, is currently open for limited hours due to staff shortages.

Sue Lightfoot, Head of Commissioning Mental Health, Learning Disability and Dementia at NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

This situation is very worrying for anyone using this service, and also difficult for the staff at Richmond Fellowship, who are committed to offering people the best possible support.

We are actively working with Richmond Fellowship now to make sure a service, albeit with reduced hours, continues to operate – safely – over the coming weeks, to ensure that support is still available to those in need. Existing staff from other Richmond Fellowship services have volunteered to work extra hours to offer this support.

There are of course other sources of support available, including the Community Mental Health Team crisis line 01983 522214, or the Samaritans on Freephone 116 123, but the drop-in service plays an important role and we hope it can continue.

Looking further ahead, we are also working with Richmond Fellowship to recruit new members of staff so that the service can quickly be returned to a sustainable footing. This recruitment is under way already and we expect the Safe Haven to be operating a full service in the New Year.

 

Independent Review of the Mental Health Act

Last year the Prime Minister announced an Independent Review of the Mental Health Act – which sets out when a person can be detained and treated in hospital against their wishes – to look at how it is used and how it can be improved.

Over the course of 2018, the Review has heard from thousands of people who have been detained under the Act, and from their families and carers, about their experiences.

The Independent Review has now published its final report with around 150 recommendations for change. The Prime Minister has welcomed the report and announced that the Government plans to bring forward a new mental health bill.

Derek Caren, Chief Executive of Richmond Fellowship commented:

As Richmond Fellowship approaches its 60th anniversary in 2019, we’re celebrating our history and looking forward to positive changes ahead.

The development of our community based services coincided with a previous Mental Health Act of 1959, which helped establish the pathway for many people to leave hospital and live in the community. We strongly welcome and endorse the recommendations of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act of 1983.

Strengthening people’s rights and their ability to challenge decisions under the Act when people are at their most vulnerable is a key development and necessary improvement to deliver better mental health services. We want to see these changes enacted by the Government as soon as possible alongside further investment in community based preventative services to reduce the number of people who are being detained.

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