On Friday 27th February I met with the Chief Executive and staff of Kings College Hospital, Southwark PCT, Lambeth PCT, Southwark Mind and the South London and Maudsley Trust to discuss the plans of Southwark PCT to redevelop the Emergency Department at Kings Hospital.
I am determined to ensure that users are given what was promised when the Emergency Clinic at the Maudsley Hospital opposite Kings was closed in 2007 - which was a "safe and Secure" space "adjacent" to the A&E department in Kings for patients with mental health emergencies.
Following the meeting Tessa Jowell MP Kate Hoey MP and I have released the following statement:
"The 'creation of a designated space at King's College Hospital, adjacent to A&E, which will provide a safe and segregated area for mental health service users who require assessment' was what the Secretary of State for Health demanded in January 2007 in order to approve the closure of the Maudsley Emergency Clinic.
"That was the commitment given and that is the commitment that we intend to ensure is delivered to provide a service within King's Emergency Department that recognises the distinctive needs of long-term mental health users for safety, sanctuary, quiet and support during a period of distress or crisis
"Health planners must use the wisdom and experience of organisations like MIND and engage with mental health users in the current consultation so that the huge investment in the Emergency Department delivers a service of the highest quality and a fitting replacement to the Maudsley Emergency Clinic.
"We very much welcome the constructive spirit of the meeting today which, we hope, has put us in a position from which it will be possible to deliver the sort of service that every local health service user needs and deserves.'