December 8, 2022 8.00 am This story is over 16 months old

Lincolnshire “committed” to psychiatric intensive care after Hartsholme closure

Ambition is to provide services for men and women

Lincolnshire health chiefs remain committed to providing a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit in Lincolnshire, according to a report to county councillors.

Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust closed the Hartsholme Centre in Linoln on October 18 due to “ongoing significant staffing pressures”.

The trust said the “temporary” closure of the 10-bed facility was needed on the grounds of safety, with its workforces across the remaining adult mental health wards being consolidated.

It meant some male patients would have to be sent outside the county. Female patients were already transferred away from Lincolnshire due to no facilities being available.

A report before Lincolnshire County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee next week, however, said: “We are fully committed to providing male PICU care in Lincolnshire again, as soon as it is safe and sustainable to do so.”

“This is a temporary closure on the grounds of patient and staff safety and a structured stakeholder engagement process is being carried out to understand the impact and determine the conditions that will be required to safely reopen the unit.

“It remains our ambition to provide both male and female PICU care in Lincolnshire.”

The report outlines how agency and bank staff have been used, however, warns this is not ideal because patients need to build trust and confidence in effective therapeutic relationships.

At the time of closure there were four patients at the Hartsholme Centre, of those two have since stepped down to local wards, one to a local secure service and one transferred to enhanced service in a secure setting outside the county.

Sarah Connery, CEO of LPFT, told a Lincoln City council meeting on Tuesday night there overall there were currently six females being cared for out of area and two males.

LPFT said it has “major plans” to improve the recruitment and retention of staff including both financial and non-financial incentives, better roles and better education.

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