A SHAKE-UP of community mental health services in Sheffield is set to be introduced by bosses as they work to cope with a 10 per cent cut in funding over the next three years.
Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust is consulting with people who use the Community Mental Health Teams in the city. But they have been criticised for the short notice given to people of meetings organised.
Meetings took place yesterday and Monday, with another planned for today but people only received letters informing them last Friday or Saturday. The proposals centre on the creation of four separate Community Mental Health Treatment teams in the south east, south west, north and west of the city.
These would replace the eight community mental health teams that work in the city. The Sheffield Out Reach Team – for people with complex care needs – is also set to be reduced from dealing with around 160 people to around 100 in 18 to 24 months’ time. Health chiefs hope the four teams will provide greater continuity of care, which can be delivered where people need it. Staff would also work later with a centralised out-of-hours team in place to take over once the teams finish at 8.30pm.
Bosses have pledged there will be no redundancies as a result of the reconfiguration but have suggested a reduction of around 15 members of the teams as a result.
" the PCT which employs PALS has decided that this is part of management savings i.e. not front line and has cut it so that a reduced PALS service has gone to the acute trust. This means that the primary care advocacy service which was managed by the PALS team has come to an end. This was a service set up about 12 years ago for advocacy workers to work in GP practices in the more deprived areas of Darnall, Tinsley, Manor and Castle. Advocates helped GP’s with many of the non medical problems patients presented with; benefits, housing, accompanying people to appointments, etc. An invaluable service extended more recently to help people in the Chronic Fatigue/ME service. The irony is that the local authority have a proposal to provide benefits advice to GP practices but not to those that have had an advocacy service. A double whammy in terms in Inequalities."