Personality disorders: One residential unit for south England

People with severe personality disorders across the south of England will have access to one residential service in future under plans announced yesterday.

Following a consultation process, the 62 primary care trusts across the four southern regions unveiled plans to commission one residential unit and four outreach services, one for each region, for people with personality disorders requiring “tier 4” provision.

This was despite over half of consultation respondents backing the establishment of two or four residential units across the regions, compared with just 28% who supported a single unit.

The chosen model is expected to cost £6m-£7m a year. The PCTs say the existing model of provision – having two residential units, both in London, and no community outreach teams – is financially unsustainable, at a cost of £10m a year.

However, the consultation has been conducted under the shadow of the “temporary” closure of one of the units – the Henderson Hospital therapeutic community in Sutton, Surrey – last year, despite a concerted campaign by staff and residents to keep it open.

The PCTs will now draw up specifications for the proposed services before tendering for them next year.

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