In January 2020, the East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust began the development of a vision to improve mental health inpatient services across East Sussex. This vision is aimed at successfully delivering high quality, mental healthcare to address clinical and operational challenges and benefit patient care for years to come.

At the heart of this vision is a strong commitment to ensure that patients admitted to inpatient facilities are supported in wards that are modern, safe and comfortable and where staff are able to provide the highest quality care.

Our proposals focused on removing the outdated dormitory accommodation, currently provided at the Department of Psychiatry in Eastbourne District General Hospital, with single rooms and ensuite bathrooms in new facilities to be built on a different site.

After looking at a number of potential locations across East Sussex, we proposed that these services could be based at one of two sites: Mount View Street, North East Bexhill, or Amberstone Hospital, near Hailsham.

This would be the first phase of a longer-term vision to create new modern facilities which would provide care for all mental health inpatient needs on a single ‘campus’-style site for the people of East Sussex and beyond.

A formal consultation on these proposals was held for 12 weeks between June and September 2021. We engaged with hundreds of people, particularly service users, carers and their families as well as representative groups and seldom heard communities, including those with protected characteristics, charities and stakeholders including MPs and individual members of the public.

All responses have been independently analysed, providing us with valuable feedback and input that was used to inform this Decision-Making Business Case (DMBC). The feedback fundamentally informed the final proposals which we believe will serve the needs of the local community to effectively deliver this first phase of our vision for mental health services across East Sussex.

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