There has been a rise in patients being taken from the resort’s flagship mental health facility to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, documents have revealed.
Dr Ian Stewart, a lay member of Fylde and Wyre CCG, voiced his concerns during a recent meeting, and said patients going to the hospital from The Harbour in Marton ‘could impact’ on A&E.
Operations director Pat Oliver said bosses were working with Lancashire Care, which runs the unit, but admitted ‘there were difficulties around the increase in the number of patients’.
Lancashire Care, which is also responsible for mental healthcare across the county, said around four people every week after being taken to the Vic from the facility.
It said staff there have access to a round-the-clock GP helpline and a small team of nurses, but ‘in some instances patients may need to be taken to A&E for treatment’.
Those taken from The Harbour tend to be ‘older people with physical conditions that need support beyond what is available’ there, Lancashire Care and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said in a joint statement.
“We have a mixed patient population at The Harbour, including the frail elderly who have both complex physical health issues, for example having had a stroke and mental health problems such as dementia. The adult population may also have physical health issues.
“Looking after a patient’s physical health is just as important as their mental health. However, a patient would only be taken to A&E if this is necessary.”
They added:” We are absolutely aware of the demand on A&E services in the NHS generally and we have a role to play in helping to manage this.”