Health bosses have reduced the number of admissions to the mental health ward – but say this is nothing to do with proposals to close it.

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP), which runs the Millbrook Unit at Macclesfield Hospital, have confirmed they have cut back on the number of patients they can take into the unit. The Adelphi ward, one of two acute inpatient wards at the unit, has 23 beds but only 17 of these are now being used. Four patients are being cared for at the mental health ward in Chester instead.

Bosses state though that they will assess cases as they come in and the ‘situation is flexible’, so more patients could be cared for at Chester.

CWP say the beds have been reduced because there are a number of patients with complex needs which take a lot of attention by the staff.

A CWP spokesman said the move is nothing to do with a proposal to close the Millbrook Unit which is being looked at as part of a review of mental health services.

This has been highly controversial, with a petition of nearly 3,000 signatures fighting to keep a mental health ward in Macclesfield.

A CWP spokesman said: “A high level of therapeutic observations are currently being required within our inpatient facilities in Macclesfield. To support the level of care required and keep safe staffing levels, we have needed to temporarily reduce the capacity for new admissions at the Millbrook Unit.

“At present we have four patients from the East Cheshire area being cared for in our Chester inpatient unit. This is being reviewed daily and is consistent with our approach to safely managing our services. The long term future of the service is a separate issue and is currently part of a review process, led by NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Cheshire East Council and CWP. No decisions have been or will be made about the future of the Millbrook Unit until the review has concluded, which includes service user and carer engagement and a formal public consultation which we expect early next year.

“If any service users, carers, relatives and friends have concerns call our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 195 4462.”

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