A DATE has been set to decide on plans to shake-up the county’s mental health services.

NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has revealed the governing body will make a decision the same date as the Clinical Services Review on Wednesday, September 20 in Dorchester.

An independent report detailing the results of the recent Mental Health Acute Care Pathway public consultation, which ran from February 1 to the end of March, has been published.

The 130-page report written by Bournemouth University Market Research Group gives detailed information on the feedback regarding options to change the service in Dorset.

It comes after news mental health in the county received the rating of ‘requires improvement’ in the national CCG annual assessment.

Experts say service users ‘are not having their needs met’ due to a rise in demand, too few beds and a workforce crisis.

This is despite Dorset having higher than average rates of serious mental illness with more than 7000 people on the GP register.

As previously reported proposals include closing the Linden Unit, a 15 bed mental health inpatient unit in Weymouth and to increase the number of beds at St Ann’s Hospital in Poole from 67 to 94 with an additional four beds at Forston Clinic near Dorchester.

There are also plans for enhanced support via a 24/7 crisis line, the creation of retreats where people can go to get treatment and support, the introduction of community front rooms to improve access to services and recovery beds being made available across the county.

In total there were 1,156 responses to the Mental Health Acute Care Pathway Review Consultation Questionnaire.

Dr Paul French, local GP and review design delivery mental health lead, said: “We were delighted with the number of people who took part in the consultation. The response shows how important improving Mental Health services is to Dorset residents.

“We received broad support for the proposed options, which would see additional beds and mental health retreats in the county, and the development of community front rooms.”

To see the full report go to mh.dorsetsvision.nhs.uk/report-published-on-mental-health-public-consultation/