NHS mental health changes make us feel ‘worthless’

Group against cuts at The Tindal Centre in Aylesbury
Group against cuts at The Tindal Centre in Aylesbury

Patients who say their lives have been transformed by an innovative mental health service are furious after swingeing cost cutting changes were announced.

The Complex Needs Service, which run out of the 
Tindal Centre in Aylesbury supports the recovery of people with needs that have not fitted in with traditional therapies.

The service’s 200 patients are now up in arms, after they were told they will have to share their new Bierton Road, Whiteleaf Centre premises with another group, and funding for the scheme has been slashed by half.

Vivienne Walsh, who has been using the service for 15 months, said: “This has made me feel worthless, they are not taking our views into account when they are making these decisions.

“We are a close community and we need this space, this is a big commitment for everyone who takes part and it is a huge part of our lives, we want to do it properly.

“Since I have been part of the group I have so much more confidence, it has made such a big difference, I won’t fault the service. But what they are doing to it is totally wrong.”

The group is now planning an awareness event, to help people understand just how important the Complex Needs Service is.

A spokesman for Oxford NHS Trust, which is responsible for the service said: “In line with national policy, the Department of Health will cease funding from 2015 with some reduced funding in the interim.

“Chiltern CCG and Aylesbury Vale CCG do not currently plan to reduce their funding to the service but are working with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust to agree the service model.”