Agenda item


To provide responses to questions concerning the moving of mental health patients from St Pancras Hospital to facilities elsewhere in London due to construction delays to Camden & Islington Foundation Trust’s new Highgate East hospital.


Jess Lievesley, Executive Director of Strategy, Transformation and Organisational Effectiveness at Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, and Jon Spencer, Chief Operating Officer at Moorfields Eye Hospital, introduced the report on this item noting that it that addressed the wider implications of the St Pancras Transformation programme, the delays affecting the programme and how these were being addressed. They then responded to questions from the Committee:

  • Cllr Clarke asked why Moorfields was not waiting for the Highgate development to be completed given that patients would need to be moved to a private provider as a consequence at a cost of £150k per month. Jess Lievesleyacknowledged that this action was not part of the original consultation plan and noted that it was partly a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic which had caused delays to the project. Mitigations were therefore being put in place to meet the needs of a small cohort of patients and there were no longer the facilities to do this at St Pancras Hospital as part of the site was about to be built upon. It was not unusual for the NHS to use outside provision when necessary and, in this case, a structured formal arrangement would be made for a period of time to give certainty of access and would maintain local links. For two or three patients, the transitional arrangements were likely to remain until September 2023 but, for most patients, the length of time would be more limited. Jon Spencer outlined the constraints imposed by the circumstances of the project, including the fact that the land at City Road had originally been sold by Moorfields at the top of the market. This meant that if the contractual arrangements were not fulfilled in the time agreed then the price would have to be renegotiated and this could put the whole project in jeopardy.
  • Cllr Anolue expressed concern about the potential stress and impact on mental health for the patients. Jess Lievesley said that addressing this was at the heart of the decision making which was why the transitional arrangements had been made with a focus on keeping individuals engaged with community health teams and their families as well as keeping them based within London. Cllr Connor asked for reassurances that all families would receive written information about accessing relatives in services. Jess Lievesleysaid that for planned transitions, arrangements for individuals were made with families through discussions with care coordinators and community teams. For individuals presenting to services for the first time, this would be for local community teams to communicate this. Jess Lievesleycommitted to reiterate that guidance to staff to ensure that families knew how to access services.
  • Cllr Atolagberequested further details about the reprovision of the Acute Day Unit (ADU). Jess Lievesley explained that it had been closed in 2020 as it had not been possible to safely run a service during the pandemic. The intention was to reopen the ADU in a different location but it was recognised that further consultation work was required, including with the JHOSC, before decisions were made. Asked by Cllr Atolagbe how patients had been affected by the closure, Jess Lievesleysaid that mitigations and alternative arrangements had been put in place after engaging with individuals concerned. Asked by Cllr Connor whether the new site for the ADU would be provided in Camden and Islington Jess Lievesley said that this was the current intention but would depend on the steer from partners.
  • Cllr Connor asked whether the proposals set out in the paper had been approved by the Site Patient Safety Group. Jess Lievesley confirmed that this was the case as everything relating to patient safety required sign off from that Group.


Cllr Connor requested that further details about this issue be provided to the Committee as required via verbal or written briefings. (ACTION)


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