Mental health services set to be transformed

The local NHS has approved plans to transform care for people who experience
severe mental ill health. The decision will pave the way for greatly enhanced
community services including a dementia outreach service, 24/7 crisis service and
crisis care beds.
Dr Paul Bowen, clinical chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG and GP with McIlvride
Medical Practice, Poynton, comments: “These enhanced community services focus
on early intervention and prevention in order to support people with severe mental
health problems to lead fulfilling lives in their communities.”
The inpatient beds currently situated within the Millbrook Unit on the Macclesfield
Hospital site will be re-provided and replaced by 47 local beds designed to the latest
modern standards, meeting privacy and dignity requirements set out by the Care
Quality Commission.
Of the 47 beds there will be:
  • 26 beds for adults and older people in Lime Walk House, Macclesfield;
  • 15 beds for people with dementia in the former Complex Assessment and Recovery Services (CARS) ward, Macclesfield; and
  • six local crisis beds.
Together with the enhanced local community support, a further seven beds for
people with very complex needs – bringing the total re-provided beds to 54 – will be
provided in Chester and Wirral. This approach is in line with current arrangements,
where people requiring a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) receive their care in
Chester or Wirral.
The revised proposal, called Option 2 Plus, was approved on Thursday (22
November) at a joint meeting of the governing bodies of NHS Eastern Cheshire
Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS South Cheshire CCG and NHS Vale
Royal CCG, which are responsible for planning and buying most of the healthcare for
the areas they serve. This option responds to many of the concerns raised during the
consultation by retaining the majority of inpatient beds in Eastern Cheshire while still
introducing all of the new community services.
The new care model, as described in the pre-consultation business case and
consultation material, was supported by service users, carers and members of the
public during the 12-week consultation that ran from March to May 2018.
Published by NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG, NHS South Cheshire CCG and NHS Vale Royal CCG
The joint meeting of the governing bodies was chaired by Dr Bowen. Speaking after
the meeting, he said: “The new care model will provide a much wider range of choice
to meet people’s changing needs. It will offer better support in people’s homes and
communities, recognising that 95 per cent of the 7,000 local people across Eastern
Cheshire, South Cheshire and Vale Royal with severe mental health problems
already access care in the community.
“People told us during the consultation that they wanted to ‘thrive not just survive’
and an over-reliance on hospital care makes it difficult for people to lead fulfilling
lives. High-quality hospital care will still be available for the people who need it – with
most inpatient beds staying locally.”
Under Option 2 Plus, 13 rehabilitation beds will relocate to Bowmere Hospital in
Chester instead of the Soss Moss facility, Nether Alderley as was proposed and
consulted upon. The rehabilitation beds are currently situated in Lime Walk House.
Engagement with service users and carers has indicated they would prefer to move
to Bowmere Hospital in Chester, which is a modern facility close to the town centre,
than the Soss Moss site which is isolated and would have required substantial
refurbishment to bring it up to standard.
Following a recommendation from the Cheshire East Council Health and Adult Social
Care and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 22
November 2018,
the consulting bodies have committed to:
undertake a further consultation until 21 December 2018 on the additional
elements of Option 2 Plus that were not covered as part of the original 12-
week consultation process; consider the feedback that arises from the additional consultation; and following consideration, any subsequent amendments agreed by the
consulting partners will be reflected within Option 2 Plus and progressed to
Further detail on how to take part in the conversation during this additional period of
consultation will be published on the NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG website at
Dr Bowen added: “We are grateful to the thousands of service users and carers who
engaged with us during the public consultation and for the positive reaction to Option
2 Plus received from the local mental health forums, local health scrutiny committee
and Healthwatch. Thank you also to all local health and social care partners who
have supported the process and who have been integral to developing the amended
Members of the public can view detailed information on Option 2 Plus at
and make comments by emailing
or calling 01625 663477.