21st September 2020
Regarding the rebuilding of Park House Hospital by GMMH
We are writing to update you about the redevelopment of Park House as you supported our letter to Andy Burnham.
Andy’s response was to let us know he supports the rebuilding as it constitutes a form of civic regeneration that is important for our region. We have replied to him saying, whilst we appreciate that regeneration is important we believe that a single sited hospital solution based on the same model of care that is delivered in the existing building would not meet the needs of 21st century Manchester.
We told him that the public engagement exercise organised by GMMH provided little opportunity for us to raise fundamental concerns about the lack of discussion with families and services users about what the hospital is for, how it integrates with community and social care and how that would impact on the design of the building itself and its location.
We reconfirmed our concerns expressed in our original letter and briefing document around:
- the dominance of the medical model in mental health services in Manchester
- the lack of address to systemic racism and concerns raised by Black Lives Matters
an understanding of mental distress as being rooted in social stressors and inequalities.
We also informed him that as he did not take up our offer to meet, we are taking our concerns to a wider group of individuals and organisations to broaden this debate and have forwarded our letter and briefing paper to all decision makers including the Clinical Commissioning Group, the Care Quality Commission, the Directors and Governors of Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation Trust, Social Care Partnership and local Councillors.
We have also decided to take the initiative to form a coalition of the many groups and individuals who have supported us thus far. It is our intention to commence a process to identify the needs and solutions facing Greater Manchester through an independent process where all stakeholders can feel they are equal partners in the development of a vision and strategy with a whole community systems approach.
We do this in a spirit of collaboration and to honour the commitment we made to the many individuals and organisations that have supported our letter and to find a way to get these concerns addressed.
We would like you to be a part of this and will be establishing a coordinating committee to organise the process.
If you could help please let us know. Meanwhile we’ll keep you informed of developments.
Anandi Ramamurthy, Elaine Okoro, Jan Hanson, Lilian Pons, Liz Saxby, Mary Norman, Michelle Sullivan, Paul Baker, Shakilla Azram
Greater Manchester Family and Friends For Recovery, The Living Room, Niamos, Hulme, Manchester