Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Ty Grosvenor: When is locked not secure?

The new mental health hospital called Ty Grosvenor on Grosvenor Road intends to open towards the end of this month.

The privately run unit will - according to a letter sent to the council - provide care for 34 men and women.

This is the letter sent by their architects to Wrexham Council's planning department to justify NOT applying for planning permission as a secure rehabilitation unit:

Q+A Planning Ltd act on behalf of Elysium Healthcare, the intended operator of the recently constructed development at 16-18 Grosvenor Road, Wrexham, LL11 1BU.
As you will be aware, planning application reference P/2015/0900 permitted the ‘erection of a 34-bed care home (Class C2) with provision of 14 car parking spaces’ on the 7th March 2016.
Elysium wish to respond to recent incorrect speculation that it is their intention to occupy and operate this site as a secure residential institution, for which the use would fall within Use Class C2a.
The facility will be known as Ty Grosvenor and has been designed specifically as a rehabilitation centre for both male and female adults who present with a range of complex conditions that require specialist recuperation and care prior to moving onto a more community integrated setting.
Elysium’s experienced multidisciplinary team will use a recovery-based approach which is designed to empower individuals by providing opportunity and hope through active rehabilitation programmes. Within the service that Ty Grosvenor is to provide, the overall aim will be for many of the individuals to return to their home area and family environment.
However, it is equally recognised that for some achieving greater independence within a care setting is a more realistic prospect. Care will be provided by a range of experienced healthcare professionals, whereby each individual’s needs are routinely assessed and adapted to suit.
Programmes of Care are to be individually devised with the individual’s input which focuses on their short and long-term goals whilst allowing them to build up interests such as exercise and community-based activities.
The care pathway will also allow individual’s time to participate in self-directed leisure and work experience within the community which will encourage greater independence and time for relaxation.
It is therefore clear that the Ty Grosvenor facility will continue to fall in line with its permitted residential institution C2 Use Class as defined by the Town and Country Planning (Wales) Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987.
Elysium wish to take this opportunity to categorically confirm that there have never been any intentions to operate this building as a secure hospital (Class C2a), for which it is acknowledged that a change of use planning application would be required. As a matter of relevant planning case law, I wish to draw your attention to the case of Tendring District Council, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Communicates and Local Government [2008] EWHC 2122 (Admin) whereby Mr Justice Sullivan adopted a broad approach to the classification of uses within the Use Classes Order 1987, expressing the view that there were no clear lines to be drawn between hospitals, nursing homes and residential care homes.
I trust this provides useful background information of my client’s intentions regarding Ty Grosvenor, and the necessary assurance that the building will be operating within the scope defined under the operative planning consent. 
On its website, however, Elysium continues to advertise for nursing staff to operate in Ty Grosvenor, which is described as a "male locked rehabilitation service".

This description chimes with what I was verbally told by the site manager when I visited the unit in March 2018. He said the site will be for men aged 18-65 who are leaving secure units to begin their rehabilitation. These would be men with They will be kept in the unit until assessed to be able to leave the premises under supervision and, ultimately, with supervision.

It was emphasised during the visit that such an unit would enable people from north Wales to avoid having to go out of area for such a service.

However, Betsi Cadwaladr's June 7th health board meeting heard that no mental health patients from north Wales currently go out of area for their care:
"Since the peak in May 2017, the number of patients being treated out of area was 27, this has reduced to zero as of April 2018. This has been achieved through actions to improve the patient flow, including the introduction of daily Acute Care Meetings on each site involving all the multi-disciplinary team."
This begs the question - who will be commissioning the service from Elysium Healthcare if not Betsi Cadwaladr?

I remain concerned that the vulnerable men (and, it now appears, women) who will be placed in this new unit could fall prey to unscrupulous drug dealers in the immediate area. These are already active on Grosvenor Road and are quite happy to target people with mental health problems.

Local residents and local businesses as well as the local councillor have been kept out of the loop throughout the process. Some local businesses have been invited to a pre-launch curry night on June 28th.

There are many more questions to be answered about this unit and it doesn't bode well that the company running the unit is unwilling to be more open.

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