Press Release Tuesday 15 July 2014
Chi Onwurah welcomes retention of eating disorder beds in RVI
Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central, has today welcomed a decision by NHS England and north east Trusts to retain five beds in Newcastle, at the RVI’s award-winning Richardson Unit. The decision was announced in a letter to Health Minister Norman Lamb and copied to Chi.
The letter states that NHS England and the two healthcare trusts (Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV)) have come together and agreed to retain five in-patient beds in the RVI Richardson Unit (with 15 existing beds remaining in Darlington) and agreed to work to avoid sending patients for treatment outside the region unless absolutely necessary. NTW will also work towards establishing an intensive day-care service in Newcastle in 2015.
“I am delighted that NHS England and providers have come together and reversed their decision to close the award-winning Richardson Unit. The decision to ensure that patients are not transferred out of the region when there is excellent care available locally is also clearly good news and a victory for common sense. I hope that, in future, situations like this can be worked through in consultation with local people before decisions are taken”
In June Chi secured a debate in Parliament to highlight the absurd situation of local patients with severe eating disorders being sent around the country for treatment whilst beds lay empty in Newcastle. Chi has been working closely with NEEDAG, the North East Eating Disorders Action Group and the charity NIWE to retain inpatient capability in Newcastle.
Following the debate, Chi had a positive meeting with Health Minister Norman Lamb and this decision is the result of talks between NHS England and providers that were agreed at that meeting.
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