Summer 2021 issue
Est. Reading: 2 minutes

Better Environments, Better Care

Colleagues, service users, carers and other members of the public are to be asked for their views on a vision to modernise inpatient mental health care across Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Luton. 

Programme partners ELFT and Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (BLMK CCG) believe that care can be improved through a programme that includes building a new £60m mental health hospital at Bedford Health Village and investing £10m in redeveloping existing inpatient services in Luton. 

Care is currently provided across four sites – five including London – and includes standalone, isolated units at Oakley Court in Leagrave, Luton and Townsend Court in Houghton Regis. 

The vision is to move to two centres of excellence – Bedford Health Village and the Luton Centre for Mental Health adjacent to the Luton & Dunstable Hospital site. 

The new hospital in Bedford would also provide the first long-term inpatient site for children and young people in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. 

Partners believe the changes would benefit people needing mental health care and support by providing improved environments that reflect the needs of service users and staff and by providing more joined-up care through closer links with physical and community mental health services. 

The proposals would also mean adults from Bedford who need to be admitted for hospital care could be admitted to the new hospital built on Bedford Health Village, adults from Luton would be admitted to Luton and adults from Central Bedfordshire would be admitted to the facility closest to home. 

Development of community mental health services is also underway and includes working with partners to prevent more people from needing to be admitted in the first place. 

A case for change document is due to be published any time now to explain  

why the partners think the programme would be a good idea – and the public will be asked for their views before the programme is taken forward. 

“We want to develop community and inpatient mental health services that deliver the best possible outcomes for the children and young people, adults and older adults that we serve,” said Richard Fradgley, ELFT’s executive for integrated care. 

Contact for more information. 

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