South Lakes MP Tim Farron has expressed deep concerns over shock new plans for Trust Consultant Psychiatrists who work during the night to be removed - a move that could leave local people with mental health issues without vital and timely assessment and treatment.
From October 1st, Trust Consultant Psychiatrist will be withdrawn between 8pm and 9am, under new plans proposed by the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the county's Clinical Commissioning Groups.
The new proposals would see a mental health act assessment will be attended only by a community Section 12 approved doctor with the Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP).
The only time the Trust Psychiatrist will be called in deal with a request for a mental health act assessment will be if it is felt that detention in hospital is being considered - something which will cause significant delay and unnecessary suffering for the patient.
An AMHP can only make an application to detain a service user with just one doctor present under Section 4 of the Mental Health Act.
However, these new plans would be going against the Code of Practice which states that a detention under Section 4 should not be used as an administrative convenience.
Tim said: "If carried out, these dangerous and inhumane new proposals will have a devastating effect on the people of Cumbria and increase pressure on mental health workers who are already overstretched.
"It will cause considerable delay in the mental health act process, and delay admission to hospital for those who require urgent treatment.
"It also begs the question of whether mental health patients have even been consulted about this imminent change or any risk assessment undertaken on what the impact may be.
"It seems to me that this action does not put the people in crisis at its heart and it runs the risk of becoming a second-rate service.
"Yet again people with a mental illness are being short-changed, and this move could end up having potentially fatal consequences."
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