The recent Care Quality Commission report on Weller Wing expressed serious concerns with the suitability of the building and facilities there.
My own, albeit amateur, impression from my visit there would concur with the CQC: Weller Wing needs to be closed and a new facility provided.
The quality and extent of the medical and support services for people who have episodic, or continuing, mental health issues are vitally important and needs a sharper focus from healthcare authorities - from research to treatment and to support.
So it is especially important to highlight problems when they arise.
In 2010, an agreement was signed by local public sector groups for how to improve those services across Bedfordshire, including an upgrading of facilities.
The three parties to that agreement are now the clinical commissioning groups of Bedfordshire and of Luton, and the provider of mental health services, SEPT.
In the years since that agreement there has been no re-provision of Weller Wing. Worse, perhaps, there may not be a common understanding of what should have been done under that agreement. My reading of the CQC report is that this failure to upgrade facilities present an imminent risk to Weller Wing’s future.
Over the next few weeks, I want to work with the three groups we, the public, empower to make these decisions, to confirm what they agreed originally, what is needed now, and how we can progress to an acceptable level of future provision.
These are all public sector, taxpayer-funded bodies with strong, competent leaders. I hope that they will all do what they say they do - and put the interests of the public first.