Changes to mental health rehabilitation services in Cumbria

The delivery of rehabilitation services for people with complex mental health needs is changing as part of plans to improve the quality of mental health services for patients in north Cumbria.

A recent review of the rehabilitation pathway has identified that changes are required to ensure the service is linked to a large well established pathway that links to best practice guidelines which is currently provided by Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

This will enable people living in north Cumbria to have access to a broader range of rehabilitation services depending on their need including community based services in north Cumbria right through to more specialist high dependency and continuing complex care. 

The existing rehabilitation service in Cumbria is a currently a standalone service that is provided at the Acorn Unit at Carleton Clinic a 16 bed rehabilitation unit for men.  This will now close to admissions while the patients are supported onto the new pathway.

Patients currently receiving care at the Acorn Centre will move onto the new pathway by the end of October 2019 following an assessment based on their individual needs.

We will be working closely with staff on the unit who will have the opportunity to support the development of the north cumbrian rehabilitation pathway or be redeployed to other mental health services based on their preference, knowledge, skills and experience.

Gary OHare, Executive Director of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:

“This is an important piece of work in order to ensure the services we provide are consistent with the well-defined rehabilitation pathway provided by an organisation that is rated as outstanding by the Care Quality Commission across a much larger geographical area.  It will allow all patients in north Cumbria to access a much broader range of services according to their need, including an improved community based offer.

“Our priority now is supporting our existing patients either back into the community or into rehabilitation services appropriate for their needs and working with our staff who will have the opportunity to be support the north cumbrian rehabilitation pathway or work in other mental health services based on their individual preferences.

“I’m very grateful to staff who work on the unit for their continued hard work over the years, there has been lots of innovative work and dedication to provide the best patient care.  We are keen to build on this and utilise this expertise and experience to fully align the rehabilitation pathway from north Cumbria with existing services.”

From 1st October mental health and learning disability services in north Cumbria will transfer to Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) and in south Cumbria they will transfer to Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Mental health services will continue to form a key part of the health and care systems in Cumbria to ensure mental and physical health services are joined up.

Gary adds:

“We have been working closely together with NTW for some time and it makes sense to align this pathway with NTW ahead of the transfer services and ultimately provide the best and most appropriate care to patients.”

Discussions are ongoing with commissioners about the future delivery of rehabilitation services provided in south Cumbria.

There are range of other mental healths we have on the Carleton Clinic site and these are not affected. More information on mental health services is available at: