Small is beautiful for Hunts mental health sufferers

THE report on the recent mental health care shake-up was as disingenuous as the article on the council salary review at the end of August – no fault of The Hunts Post, I’m sure, but the slant it was given suggests that there is little need for a mental health ward in Huntingdon.

In fact, the service was deliberately run down to give this impression. Jobs there were at risk for many months, so recruiting staff was next to impossible and the alternative, a 100-bed ward in Peterborough, was held out as some kind of advantage to sufferers in the region and their hard-pressed families.

The resources there would be much improved, they were told. But the unit is not easy to get to from the other corners of the Huntingdonshire district. The hospital is not close to the railway station, and a large unit with many other people is not ideal for many mental health patients, for whom small is more beautiful and much less disorientating.

I and others who are familiar with the mental health care in the district are much more likely to consider the changes to be a mental health massacre. They weren’t perfect to begin with, but now they have even less likelihood of being supportive and restorative. Who are they kidding?

TRISH HAREWOOD


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