Healthwatch Cumbria facilitated a very successful and well attended drop in session at the South Lakeland Foyer today to support the continued debate about the future of the Kentmere Unit. A wide range of members of the public were able to express their concerns, ideas and in some cases anxieties about the situation regarding the Kentmere Unit in Kendal. This included representatives from South Lakeland Youth Council who have adopted mental health as a key theme for this year and were keen to understand more about the Kentmere situation.
Healthwatch staff were on hand to welcome people and encourage them to access the online survey and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust staff were available to talk one to one and answer specific questions raised by individuals.
People who attended said that they were pleased that Healthwatch Cumbria supported them to talk directly to Trust staff and that they had summarised their thoughts in their responses to the survey.
There was a clear message in much of the feedback which was that the service provided through Kentmere is very valued by people and seen to be an essential feature of what is provided in this district. People tended to focus much more on the provision of the service rather than the challenges associated with the environment and facilities that it faces.
Since the initial announcement by the Trust this issues has attracted an enormous amount of interest and concern. This was emphasised by the attendance at todays event of both Border News and the Westmorland Gazette. A representative from Healthwatch Cumbria spoke to both.
Healthwatch Cumbria would like to thank all those members of the public who took the time to attend. We appreciate that for some attending an event of this nature could be a daunting experience especially when they may wish to discuss potentially personal issues in a public environment. Healthwatch Cumbria wishes to urge those who have not yet completed to survey to do so through: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/kentmere. It can still be accessed on line until 5pm on Friday 8th July and after that all responses will be analysed by HWC and a report submitted to CPFT supported by a presentation to the Trust Board.