Trusts plan to cut ‘soft target’ services

Nearly three-quarters of Amicus shop stewards working in NHS mental health services in England are reporting deficits, according to a report by the union.

Fifty-six per cent said their employers were planning to cut services and 43 per cent expected job cuts. Services closed include an eating disorders unit, children’s inpatient service and acute wards.

Amicus national officer for health, Kevin Coyne, said the cuts were evidence that mental health was a “soft target” for cuts by cash-strapped primary care trusts.

Meanwhile, the proposed closure of the walk-in emergency mental health clinic at the Maudsley Hospital in south London has been referred to the secretary of state for health by Lambeth and Southwark councils.

Service users also held a demonstration against proposed cuts to mental health services in Lambeth and Southwark last week.

South London and Maudsley NHS Mental Health Trust plans to close the emergency centre as part of a reconfiguration of its services.

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