Round-the-clock care unit to close

Lynnhurst Mental Health Unit, Farington
Lynnhurst Mental Health Unit, Farington

A mental health unit which provides round-the-clock care in Leyland is set to close after a review.

Lynnhurst Independence Unit on Stanifield Lane, Farington, will close this year after a review into the “modernisation” of the county’s services.

Another unit, The Bungalow, also in Farington, will stay open but care will be provided by agencies chosen by patients.

Bosses at Lancashire County Council said the decision was not down to saving money, but was about giving people a better say on their own care.

County Coun Mike Calvert, cabinet member for adult and community services, said: “As part of the modernisation of mental health services, we are helping people to move to using personal budgets to make their own choices about the support they want, rather than social workers having the biggest say in these decisions.

“Under the same modernisation plan, we have looked at the mental health services we provide in Lancashire, and consulted with people who use the services, together with staff.

“As a result, we have agreed to close the mental health service at Lynnhurst when all current tenants have completed their rehabilitation programme.

“The Bungalow will remain open as long-term accommodation with support being provided by agencies chosen by the tenants themselves.”

Staff at the centre raised concerns last year that cuts to overnight workers – from two to one – would leave them vulnerable if there were any incidents. Formal consultations with staff over the service review started in 2011 and another round of consultations took place last year.

The sites are run by the Lancashire Care Foundation Trust (LCFT) under a contract with the council.

The decision has already been made but will go before the authority’s cabinet on Thursday.

There are currently three tenants at The Bungalow and nine at Lynnhurst.

Lynnhurst is set to close between March to May this year, once residents complete their current programme of rehabilitation and have a new accommodation facility in place.

A spokesman for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “Under the section 75 agreement, the trust has been working closely with our partners in Lancashire County Council and NHS commissioners as part of a wider strategy to improve rehabilitation services across Lancashire.

“The plan to close Lynnhurst and the Bungalow is a move towards delivering a much more person centred service that allows an individual to use their personal budget to choose what sort of care they want and also to choose where they receive it.”