There's a few things that bother us about the Trust's reply to David Morris's email.
We can summarise quickly as follows:
This temporary measure has been in place for a month and during this
time, approximately 6 females from the North
Lancashire area have been admitted to a Trust facility in the wider
6 Women sent out of area and 6 missing beds. Neat. Also...approximately?
"A campaign group has been started called “Beds In
The Orchard” which describes itself as “a campaign for the reinstatement
of female psychiatric inpatient provision at The Orchard hospital in
Lancaster”. The group are tweeting from the
handle @OrchardBeds and, amongst other things, are encouraging people
to contact their MP."
Yes, that's us and contacting your MP is a perfectly reasonable course of action to take when one group of vulnerable people, in this case women, are sent out of the area to accommodate another group of vulnerable people, in this case men.
"It is important to note that the Trust provides
beds on a pan Lancashire basis."
But apparently closing 22 male beds elsewhere in the county wouldn't impact on the need to provide additional capacity for men elsewhere. OK?
"Demand for female beds can often rise in the spring time. In
order to respond to these fluctuations, the Trust’s inpatient services
have been designed so that the ratio of male
and female beds can be flexed to respond to meet demand accordingly."
When there was the upswing in female referrals earlier this year, the Trust did not close the whole of one facility to men to cope with that demand. Women were sent to The Priory in Manchester.
and the Trust’s other inpatient facilities have the flexibility to
respond to an increase in female activity too. The Trust’s
new facilities have been designed with this in mind and feature ‘swing
beds’ so that the ratio of male/female beds can be altered in line with
demand which is a dynamic situation."
The facilities haven't been "flexed" they have been closed completely.