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To: LCC and LCFT

Save the Community Restart service

We wish to state our disappointment at the termination of the ‘‘Community Restart’’ service in Lancashire and urge you to reconsider what we believe to be a potentially damaging decision. This decision comes at the same time as deciding to scrap The Wellbeing Service. It’s also worth noting that the cessation of Restart also means the end of the SUDE team and the Wellness Recover Action Plan course. This is a huge amount of cuts for Lancashire.

Why is this important?

Community Restart is a non-profit organisation that has supported thousands of people struggling with mental health problems to improve their health and wellbeing. They have helped people in a number of ways such as supporting them to re-engage with their communities, overcome social phobias, volunteer in community projects and get back into education or jobs. In many cases the service has given people their life back.

Considerable research has shown a link between social isolation and mental health. How can scrapping a service that prevents this be a good idea? This decision will simply increase the problem of social exclusion.
In October 2018 an analysis by the NHS Support Federation showed that in the last 5 years the number of patients accessing mental health services in the region has risen by more than 77,000. Over the same period the number of mental health nurses in the north-west has remained virtually static and there are fewer beds for people struggling with their mental health. NHS mental health Trusts have seen their income cut by more than 100 million in real terms since 2012. (TUC report 2018)

The above is ironic at a time when this government is promising increased funds and services for mental health. Where is this money actually going as it’s clear to see the services are being cut, not extended?

This decision to scrap Community Restart will mean redundancy for a large number of highly skilled people who are experienced in working in the mental health sector. This is a huge loss.
Without this referral service being available to GPs and mental health departments, the already long waiting lists for people struggling with mental health problems will hugely increase putting further strain on an already struggling health service.
A freedom of information request found that, between April and December last year, 75% of patients waiting more than 12 hours at Lancashire’s A& E departments had mental health conditions. (BBC News, Jan 2019) Again, surely a decision to scrap all these services is going to compound the problems in our A & E’s, increase waiting lists for mental health departments and give GP’s less options for referral.
During a public consultation regarding the closing of Wellbeing services, over 90% of people including the police and crime commissioner, strongly disagreed or disagreed with the proposal to cease the Lancashire Wellbeing Service.” The responses, however were ignored.
Many people were not aware of this public consultation. In any event people with extreme anxiety disorders are unlikely to be able to cope with responding and, ironically, would need help to do so from someone from Wellbeing Services or Community Restart!
The comments in the report support keeping the service and say that removing it would be detrimental.
How on earth can they qualify the following statement with closing the service? “It is recognised that the proposal is most likely to disproportionately impact on those with poor mental health (Equality Analysis Appendix B).”
In conclusion, closing these services is taking advantage of a vulnerable community who need the services that are being closed in order to be able to deal with life, let alone fight for the services.
Please do not scrap Wellbeing Services and reconsider scrapping the Community Restart, which is due to close in August. The results could be catastrophic.

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Reasons for signing

  • services are under enough pressure already without ending more
  • I think mental health issues are very serious an should be noticed I suffer with mental health issues and it controls my day to day living
  • This service gave a young person the chance to grow in a supported community group - she’s now achieving many of her goals thanks to this service and making a huge contribution to the community. Without this service the young person and our volunteer organisation would probably never have been introduced - we would be missing out on a fantastic coach and role model and the young person who have been denied the opportunity to fulfil her potential in a supported and safe environment.

Updates

2019-08-30 19:01:54 +0100

Thankyou to everybody who signed this petition and to all those who wrote letters in support of keeping the service. Unfortunately, the service sadly came to an end today. A similar service will be run but with very few staff and reaching less people. A very sad day for a wonderful service and its many great staff. Feel free to continue complaining about this to LCC, LCFT and the CCGs. Thanks again for all your efforts.

2019-07-04 21:14:04 +0100

500 signatures reached

2019-06-22 21:41:30 +0100

100 signatures reached

2019-06-22 11:33:33 +0100

50 signatures reached

2019-06-22 05:20:24 +0100

25 signatures reached

2019-06-21 21:16:58 +0100

10 signatures reached