Beds at St Andrews Ward to be relocated

October 01 2020
Beds at St Andrews Ward to be relocated

THE 14 beds at the St Andrews Ward mental health unit in Wells are to be moved to Yeovil.

Members of the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body unanimously voted in favour of the proposal at a virtual meeting on September 24.

The decision followed a review of mental health services in Somerset; the Fit for My Future review concluded that moving the beds to Rowan Ward at Yeovil made sense because of the proximity of additional support in an emergency, being closer to hospital emergency care if needed and the provision of 24/7 medical cover.

Maria Heard, programme director for Fit for My Future and Somerset CCG Governing Body member, said: “We know that in Wells and the surrounding area there were strong feelings about the proposal to relocate the 14 adult mental health in-patient beds and some people will be disappointed by the decision. However this proposal was approved to help us provide safer care to people who need this level of mental health support across the whole of Somerset.”

Jane Yeandle, service director for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust’s Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Directorate which runs the mental health inpatient wards, said: “Following the decision we will now work with our staff, patients and carers to take this forward. We will also listen to feedback from current and former patients of St Andrews Ward, their carers and current staff about what they value about the service. We will use their feedback to directly inform the way care is provided for everyone on our acute mental health wards in Taunton and Yeovil.

“There will be a considerable period of building work to create the new ward in Yeovil and to upgrade the facilities on the adjacent Rowan Ward. We will work with service users to ensure that they are involved in the planning of the new ward on Rowan and support colleagues working in the service throughout the period of transition.”

A 12-week public consultation was held on the proposal earlier this year. Of people from the Wells area who responded to it, 75 per cent opposed relocating the beds.