Public consultation on mental health hospital plans launched

People in East Sussex  are invited to take part in a public consultation about proposals to improve the quality and safety of mental health inpatient services for adults and older people.

The consultation was launched today (Monday 14 June) by the local NHS for a 12 week period.

These proposals have been developed over many months by NHS East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (Sussex Partnership). This followed input from service users, carers and their representatives, including Healthwatch East Sussex, as well as GPs, hospital doctors and staff.

The public consultation sets out proposals to move mental health inpatient services, which are currently based at the Department of Psychiatry in Eastbourne District General Hospital, to new facilities to be built on a different site.

These services could be relocated to a greenfield site next to Mount View Street, North East Bexhill, Bexhill-on-Sea, or a site around Amberstone Hospital, near Hailsham.  The Bexhill site is the preferred option.

If approved, this would be the first phase towards a potential long-term vision to create a leading centre for a range of mental health services on a single ‘campus’, which could, over time, address all mental health inpatient needs in East Sussex. This first phase will be completed by March 2024.

Sussex Partnership Chief Executive, Samantha Allen, said:

“Sussex Partnership Chief Executive, Samantha Allen, said: “While we work hard to make sure our patients receive the right quality of care, we know that we need to make bigger improvements to deliver that care to an even higher standards in the future. Our proposal will help us to achieve this

“The staged approach we are proposing will also give us the opportunity to benefit from national funding to remove all out-dated dormitory accommodation, such as that found in the Department of Psychiatry, and replace it with individual bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms.”

Dr David Warden, the Clinical Chair of NHS East Sussex CCG’s Governing Body, added:

“We have developed these proposals to make sure we lead the way in providing the best mental health care and support possible for local people.

“They not only address the immediate challenges we have with the facilities at the Department of Psychiatry but are also the first stage towards achieving our long-term vision to meet the needs of our patients for many years to come. We look forward to hearing from people during the next 12 weeks so we can work with them to help deliver the best possible care.”

People can give their feedback on the consultation in a number of ways – full details about the consultation are available.

  • Via an online questionnaire
  • Via a printed questionnaire – simply fill in the questionnaire included in the consultation document and post it using the Freepost envelope provided. To request a copy of the document you can email your name and address to: eastsussex.mh@nhs.net or call 0300 304 0330.
  • At online and face-to-face engagement events, the dates and timings of which will be published on the consultation website. Or you can call us on our dedicated telephone number, as above.
  • These events will be subject to the latest government guidance on social distancing.
  • Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users can share their views by using the free SignLive app that connects them to a qualified British Sign Language interpreter. See more information about the service and when it is available.

Opinion Research Services Ltd. (ORS), an independent organisation,  has been appointed to manage the consultation feedback and questionnaire responses and to objectively  report the outcomes.

ORS will produce a comprehensive independent report of the findings for the NHS East Sussex CCG Governing Body, the Sussex Partnership Board of Directors, and the East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) to consider before any decisions are made.

The consultation will close on Monday 6 September 2021.

Further information is available by contacting the consultation team.

  1. Email: esxccg.eastsussex.mh@nhs.net
  2. Dedicated telephone line on 0300 304 0330 (local rates apply)
  3. Write to: FREEPOST SS1018, PO Box 530, Swansea SA1 1ZL

British Sign Language translation of the above text

British Sign Language translation of the consultation document