MP angry at plan to move hospital unit

The Platform unit at the Royal Preston Hospital
The Platform unit at the Royal Preston Hospital
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Preston MP Mark Hendrick has slammed plans to move a specialist mental health unit for young people away from the city.

The Platform, which was only opened at the Royal Preston Hospital in 2010, is being switched to Heysham, leaving some patients’ families facing a 60-mile round trip to visit loved ones.

“I firmly believe that adolescent mental health services should be retained here in Preston,” said Mr Hendrick in a letter to the CEO of the Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust which runs mental health services in the county. A move away from our city is unacceptable to me. I do not see this proposal to move a well-rated facility in Preston some 30-plus miles away as an improvement to the service provided to my constituents.”

The six-bed residential unit for young people aged 16 and 17 has been open for less than seven years and was rated as “good” after a Care Quality Commission inspection last September. A spokesman for the Trust said the decision had been based on a recommendation by the CQC that accommodation should be co-located on one site, hence the move to Heysham.

“We recognise why Mr Hendrick would want The Platform to remain in Preston and his concerns about access for young people locally. However we must highlight that our in-patient services for children and young people are provided on a Lancashire wide basis, therefore the people accessing them are from all over the county and South Cumbria and in most cases have already travelled for the admission. The Moss View site was the most suitable for redevelopment.”