Thanet Safe Haven to be moved from Holy Trinity Church to QEQM mental health unit

Thanet Safe Haven will be moved from Holy Trinity to QEQM Hospital

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The Thanet Safe Haven, providing support for people in mental health crisis, will be moved from its base at Holy Trinity Church in Dane Valley to the QEQM Hospital grounds later this month.

The safe haven was one of four agreed in 2019 after funding from NHS England was allocated for to Kent and Medway NHS.

The successful bid, made by Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), was to fund the havens aimed at helping people who need urgent mental health care and support across the county.

The news came following an emotional mental health needs meeting in Ramsgate organised by district and county councillor Karen Constantine after the suicides of several residents who had been unable to access help.

Thanet Safe Haven opened online amid the pandemic in April 2020 and finally had a physical opening at the church in November of that year.

It is open for those who need support from 6pm-11pm every day (including weekends and bank holidays) and is operated by Mental Health Matters, which has over 35 years’ experience in delivering support to those with complex mental health support needs.

When the safe havens were announced Helen Mackay, Chief Executive for MHM, said: “This funding will help mental health services to work together to provide the right service in the right place. Admission to an inpatient unit is often not appropriate but a place where someone can de-escalate with the right support and expertise can be much more beneficial.”

But Mental Health Matters now say the haven is being moved because “both clinical and non-clinical support services need to work closer together.”

A MHM spokesperson said: “The Safe Havens were originally established to create an alternative to Accident and Emergency for individuals in mental health crisis. The aim was to reduce unnecessary admittance and encourage social support to improve wellbeing and reduce barriers to accessing support.

“The safe havens have been open for three years and offer vital support to the community. However, it has been recognised that as a team, both clinical and non-clinical support services need to work closer together.

“Following consultations and significant feedback from multiple A&E patient experience teams across Kent and Medway, a need for an alternative mental health provision was identified. This also aligns with the NHS 10-year strategy for mental health provision and the core 24 principles to improve our mental health provisions.

“By moving the Safe Haven to a hospital site, it offers an alternative option for mental health support. Through partnership working we will be working with clinical teams to ensure that we are supporting the whole person, whilst enabling more capacity within the emergency care system for those that require emergency support.”

Thanet Safe Haven is expected to move to the QEQM and be situated within the Thanet Mental Health unit on  November 27.

NHS Kent and Medway carried out extensive consultation with patients and other stakeholders, including Kent Police and South East Coast Ambulance Service, to understand how all havens can meet the needs of patients and be better used.

The health service said the main feedback was: not being available 24/7; location and environment and limited access to clinical support.

A spokesperson for NHS Kent and Medway said: “Our safe havens need to provide the best support possible, in the right place, for people who need help during a mental health crisis.

“We have listened to patients and other professionals and agreed to improve Thanet Safe Haven by moving it from Holy Trinity to QEQM, where it will be open 24-hours-a-day and offer patients access to further specialist clinical support, if needed. This is what patients told us they wanted to see.”

Find safe haven details at www.mhm.org.uk/kent-safe-havens.

Thanet to get one of four new mental health service ‘Safe Havens’ following funding bid success

1 Comment

  1. Surprise surprise!! It’s now been decided that patients with mental health conditions should be under the care of ……mental health professionals. It’s only a matter of time before bigger mental health hospitals will be required. Since evil Thatcher closed the large mental health hospitals thousands of lives have been lost through suicidal incidents and thousands of murders have been committed by mentally disturbed individuals who were pushed out of mental health care institutions into so-called “care in the community” more like scare in the community.

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