Bor­ough needs a health cham­pion

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION - DEBORAH KING Full ad­dress sup­plied

I READ the story about men­tal health care in the Gazette of March 9. As a men­tal health ser­vice user, I know there have been se­vere cuts to ser­vices run by CNWL. The Uxbridge cen­tre was closed some time ago with­out proper con­sul­ta­tion with users. Peo­ple now have to travel to the Pem­broke Cen­tre in Ruis­lip or to Mead House in Hayes for con­sul­ta­tions.

Also, cuts have led to the caseload for psy­chi­a­trists be­ing in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly, so that a psy­chi­a­trist now has a caseload of well over 200 pa­tients. I have been in River­side psy­chi­atric unit in Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal. It felt un­safe and was a very fright­en­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Politi­cians need to make the ef­fort to visit there and talk to pa­tients about the treat­ment pa­tients are re­ceiv­ing. Too many politi­cians don’t have any men­tal health train­ing or real un­der­stand­ing of the is­sues. With­out this they can’t make good de­ci­sions about ser­vices.

The Lon­don Bor­ough of Hilling­don could help by ap­point­ing a Men­tal Health cham­pion as rec­om­mended by the re­cent Five Year For­ward view on men­tal health pro­duced for the Prime Min­is­ter.

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