Sir George has contacted the Mid-Hants Primary Care Trust, to get their assessment of the extent to which proposals by Covenant Healthcare for the Rothsay Hotel site will meet local needs.
"The reply speaks for itself, and it is as follows. Pat West's correspondence is below"
21 July 2006
Your Ref HOC30
Sir George Young Bt, MP
2 Church Close
Dear Sir George
Planning Application – Rothsay Hotel, Weyhill
I am responding to your letter dated 18 July 2006, concerning the planning application for psychiatric facilities at the site of Rothsay Hotel, Weyhill.
I have now had the opportunity to explore the implications of this application with Martin Barkley, Chief Executive, Hampshire Partnership Trust, and our Specialist Commissioning Team that is responsible for ensuring access to these services for local people.
It is the generally held view that people from Hampshire and specifically mid Hampshire area, would be assessed by our local mental health services and would already have access to the appropriate provision through services commissioned either within Hampshire Partnership Trust or accredited independent sector providers.
To my knowledge the company seeking to develop this particular service have not consulted with our PCT or indeed our Specialist Commissioning Team who would be responsible for securing these services. It is therefore my view that this is a commercial enterprise and will result in the residents being imported to the area rather than one that responds to unmet local need. I am told that the numbers involved affected by the types of conditions included in the application far exceed local needs.
In addition the proposal makes no reference to the elements of social care support needed by clients with such needs, does not indicate the extent to which there is compliance with agreed clinical standards and does not take into account other agreed service changes, such as the Eating Disorder Unit planned for development at Melbury Lodge, Winchester.
I hope this information is helpful.
Director of Primary and Community Care
County Councillor Pat West wrote in similar terms to Martin Barkley, Chief Executive, Hampshire Partnership NHS Trust.
This is his reply.
24th July 2006
Development Control Team
Test Valley Borough Council
Dear Mr Owen
Re: Application no: 06/01548/FULLN
Proposal Erection of building to be used as a nursing home (as a use falling within class C2 of the Use Classes (Amendment) Order 2005) together with associated works
Site: Former Rothsay Hotel, Weyhill, Weyhill
Thank you for your notification of the above named planning application which refers to the proposal to establish a nursing home on the site of the former Rothsay Hotel, Weyhill.
On behalf of the Trust I write to express our opposition to the planning application. Our objection to the planning application is based on our understanding that it is proposed to use the nursing home for adolescents with eating disorders; adults with eating disorders and women with personality disorders.
We consider that there is very little evidence to support the need for such a large facility to be established to meet the needs of Hampshire people. At the present time the majority of teenagers who require in-patient treatment for eating disorders, are admitted to Leigh House Hospital in Winchester. There are usually only two or three teenagers placed in independent sector provision for treatment of eating disorders, at any one time. With regards to adult with eating disorders there are only usually between three and seven in-patients at any one time. Such in-patients are treated in the Priory Hospital, Marchwood and at Kimmeredge Court, Dorset and patients who require tube feeding, at a hospital in South East London. In conjunction with local Primary Care Trusts it is probable that a six bed eating unit that will undertake tube feeding will be established in Winchester (at Melbury Lodge on the RHCH site). I can only think of up to six women with borderline personality disorders that need residential care.
From the figures contained in the previous paragraph it can be seen that even if the new proposed facility looked after all such patients, there is only a need for about 15 beds. It must therefore be assumed that the other 30 beds will be attracting non-Hampshire patients. However the reality is that existence of such a facility will not lead to changes in referral patterns, with the consequence that there will be an even greater proportion of non-Hampshire patients in the facility.
Furthermore there must be very grave concerns about the proposed mix of patients in the proposed nursing home and the size of the nursing home given the very challenging and complex needs of the proposed client group/s.
I have also been informed that it has been proposed that the unit will employ 45 people including admin staff. Given the proposed nature of the client groups, such a proposed level of staffing is unlikely to be adequate, which will mean an even greater intensity use of the site.
In conclusion I would say that the NHS has broadly sufficient capacity, particularly when assessed in conjunction with the complementary role of the Priory Hospital at Marchwood. It is considered that the proposed nursing home will be largely irrelevant in meeting needs of the people of Hampshire, and is likely to place an even greater burden on the NHS locally and make worse the present shortage of staff.
If any further information or clarification is required please do let me know.
cc: Cllr Pat West