Manchester deserves better mental health services – Meeting 7th April

 Campaign meeting Thursday 7th April, 5.30pm-6.30pm, Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess Street, M1 6DD (entrance on Major Street, near Chorlton Street Bus Station and Portland Street).  (This precedes the Manchester TUC meeting to support the Junior Doctors – see below)

We are organising a short meeting to discuss MMHSCT’s decision to proceed with closing 8 frontline mental health services.  They say they will ‘reinvest’ £200,000 to set up a smaller creative wellbeing service, based on Start and Studio One and Green Wellbeing – but so far, Benchmark (woodwork and carpentry and furniture making) is not included.

The Trust failed to answer a number of questions put by the UNISON branch – especially about the costs of closing services while they will still have to provide some services for people with mental health needs.  Services will still be needed for people with severe affective disorders (currently provided by SSAD) or with long term physical or mental conditions (currently provided by Chronic Fatigue Programme) or with sexual dysfunction (currently provided by Psychosexual Service).  There will also be redundancy costs for the 29 staff.

We have won the support of Manchester MPs.  Mike Kane, Lucy Powell, Jeff Smith, Graham Stringer have all either met with branch representatives and/or with staff and service users from the affected services.  They have all expressed their concern at the proposed closure of these services and the impact on service users; they have written to the Trust, to the CCGs, to the Secretary of State for Health.  They will be raising questions in Parliament on our behalf.

Manchester Trades Council has organised a meeting on Thursday 7th April at 18.30 – 20.00 at the Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess St, Manchester M1 6DD to discuss organising support groups for the junior doctors at all the Manchester and Trafford hospitals.