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City Council condemns 'short-sighted and badly planned' mental health cuts

January 24, 2006 12:00 AM

Leader of the City Council, Ian Nimmo-Smith, and Executive City Councillor for Housing and Health, Catherine Smart, have today called on Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trusts to rethink their proposed cuts to mental health services in the City.

The call follows the City Council's response to the consultation process on mental health cuts which strongly criticised several of the proposed cuts for failing to assess the implications of the proposals.

Commenting, Cllr Smart said:

"The proposals have made no assessment of how the City Council and other social providers will manage the additional burdens results from these proposed cuts.

"The PCT is assuming that they can discharge appropriate patients from The Cedars into supported community placements, but they have not considered what impact this would have on social housing providers. The City Council would have to consider the impact on other vulnerable residents if former patients, who are finding it difficult to cope, are placed in the sheltered schemes. Extra-care sheltered housing is needed by a variety of residents and so the Trust must not just assume that these spaces will be available."

Cllr Nimmo-Smith added:

"The main problem with these proposals is that the PCT does not seem to have properly thought through the implications. Where will discharged patients go? Spaces need to be provided to accommodate them.

"Cutting the Young People's Service for 20-25 year olds could mean that vulnerable young people could become lost in the system. The YPS is a key support system that allows these young people to stay in their own tenancies and helps them to look after themselves. Cutting such services seems extremely short-sighted."