Scrapping Sheffield NHS community mental health team will 'kill somebody off' says service user

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust said it needs to make cuts of 1.6m
Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust said it needs to make cuts of 1.6m
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NHS bosses are being urged to re-think scrapping a 'vital' team that helps mental health patients in the community.

NHS bosses are being urged to re-think scrapping a 'vital' team that helps mental health patients in the community.

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust said it needs to make cuts of 1.6m

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust said it needs to make cuts of 1.6m

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trusts said they need to find £1.6m of savings.

In an emotional letter pleading with Trust boss Kevan Taylor to keep the Sheffield Outreach Team, one service user from Woodhouse, who has bi-polar, said she 'won't be able to cope without the help from staff.

SORT is a front line team dealing with people who suffer a mental health crisis in the community and often help to avert hospital admissions.

"In the past, I've avoided full blown psychosis, I was suicidal and partly psychotic. The outreach team came to my rescue when I called for help," she said.

"I had a visit most days from them during that critical part period and that got me through it in one piece avoiding an admission to hospital.

"If you destroy our vital outreach team you will kill off some of the service users."

One staff member who fears she will be sacked if NHS bosses discover she alerted the press to the cuts, said one of their service users was moved to another team and did not see a support worker for a whole month.

The whistleblower said SORT had contact with 15,496 clients in just 12 months between August 2016 and August 2017.

The staff member said the need to 'save money' will fail service users and it would be 'catastrophic' for the wider community.

Clive Clarke, deputy chief executive, said: “We are committed to improving the mental, physical and social wellbeing of the people in our communities. All NHS organisations ar seeing change and we need to adapt accordingly, investing in the future and going from strength to strength for our service users and their families.

"We believe that the changes that we are making to adult community mental health services will improve accessibility and availability as well as improving the overall quality of care and support that our service users receive.

"I fully appreciate that such changes are anxiety provoking for service users and carers. I would like to encourage all our community mental health team service users and their carers to attend the drop-in sessions and ask any questions that they may have.”

The drop-in sessions will take place as follows:

East Glade Community Mental Health Team base September 7 from 2-4pm and September 19 from 9.30-11.00am

Northlands Community Mental Health Team base September 8 from 10-12pm and September 21 from 1-3pm

Netherthorpe House SORT Team base September 12 from 1-3pm and September 21 from 10-12pm

Argyll House Community Mental Health Team base September 15 from 10-12pm and September 26 from 2-4pm

Limbrick Community Mental Health Team base September 18 from 1-3pm September 27 from 10-12pm