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Armley: Treatment centre for mental health patients may close

An Armley treatment centre for people with severe mental health problems and learning disabilities may close under new plans, writes David Spereall.

Regional health chiefs are considering shutting Parkside Lodge off Stanningley Road, which cares for eight patients a year, according to the NHS.

The 12-bed secure facility is one of three assessment and treatment units (ATUs) in West Yorkshire offering short stays to adults with complex needs.

But the NHS says it is offering more care in the community to those patients, meaning fewer people are expected to be admitted to ATUs in future.

No final decision has been made, with patients, families and carers to be consulted over the coming weeks about the plans.

Similar units at Fieldhead Hospital in Wakefield and Lynfield Mount Hospital in Bradford will remain open, with 16 beds between them.

Parkside Lodge staff will be offered jobs at those units or in other roles elsewhere.

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health Care Partnership, which is behind the idea, said it was “committed to understanding” what impact the plans may have on those affected.

Sara Munro, CEO lead for the partnership’s mental health, learning disabilities and autism programme, said:

“The proposal will see the development of a regional centre of excellence, moving from providing services in three locations (Leeds, Wakefield and Bradford) to a new, regional, standardised service model provided across two units, Bradford and Wakefield, with 16 beds.

“Further engagement with people who access care, families and carers, is being planned to start in the spring.

“We are fully committed to ensuring that we retain all of our highly skilled staff that work in these services, and are currently developing a detailed workforce plan that will include working alongside staff to transfer their working arrangements to new units or to other roles.

“Putting people at the centre of their care, so they have choice and control over their life, is a priority to us all. It’s about focusing on what really matters to people, not what is the matter with people.”

Update: This article was amended to clarify that eight patients used the facility last year, not 50 as first stated.

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