Lifeworks

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Press Release March 12 th 2014
PROTEST IN SUPPORT OF MENTAL HEALTH
CENTRE OCCUPATION

A PROTEST will be held in Cambridge City Centre on Saturday March 15 th ,
calling on the public to support the campaign to defend mental health services
in Cambridgeshire, and particularly the occupation of the Lifeworks centre in
Tenison Road, now in its second week.

Users of the Complex Cases Service (CCS) have occupied the building since
Tuesday last week, to demand that a decision to close their service is
reversed. As the campaigners say: ‘The closure of CCS will leave many
without care.

‘Cambridge’s Complex Cases Service provides support to adults with
personality disorders, mainly people with borderline personality disorder,
which can involve suicide, serious self harm, neglect, social isolation and
feelings of emptiness.’

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT), which runs
mental health services across the county, is due to shut down the Complex
Cases Service at the end of the month without consultation with service users,
GPs or the public. Whilst CPFT claim they are doing this for financial reasons,
in reality the closure will shift the cost of mental health care to Accident &
Emergency, GPs, carers and their families.

The resource caters for the needs of adults with personality disorders through
a crisis clinic, support group for service users, friends and family, and the offer
of information and advice. In its place the CPFT plan to set up a countywide
Personality Disorder Community Service, which will require everyone to return
to their GP and be referred down a ‘care pathway’ for assessments.

However campaigners have discovered that many GPs are not even aware of
this plan, and some have expressed concerns to service users about their
capacity to deal with it. There doesn’t appear to have been either an Equality
Impact Assessment or any public consultation.

The threat to close the Lifeworks centre is the latest in a long list of cuts and
closures in mental health; in the last three years alone this includes:

• Burnett House Day Centre
• Cobwebs
• Crowlands
• Mitchell Day Centre
• Norfolk Street Clubhouse• No. 1 The Drive
• Pathways Day Centre

Those taking part in the occupation say it is time to call a halt to this
destructive programme, and to make a stand. In doing so they are defying
intimidation by representatives of CPFT management, who seem oblivious to
the fact that the occupiers are service users with mental health needs.

The protest will be held from 2 pm outside the Guildhall in Cambridge this
Saturday, 15 March. The campaigners have set up an e-petition against the
move at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/61183, and a Facebook group
at facebook.com/SaveCCS