CITY MP Flick Drummond has pledged to support health bosses in their bid for more money to improve people’s lives.
The Baytrees unit, at the St James’ Hospital site, in Milton, which supports people with drug and alcohol addiction, suffered a blow this year after its fixed source of funding was axed.
We need to make sure Baytrees wins contracts around the country - this is a centre of excellence.Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond
Of the 23 beds Baytrees provides, 11 were block-bought by Hampshire County Council until the authority awarded a £41.2m contract for substance misuse services to a different organisation.
Now staff are reliant on funding from authorities which require beds as and when needed.
Speaking to The News during a tour of the vital service, Mrs Drummond said she wants to make the case in parliament that Baytrees needs help to survive.
Mrs Drummond said: ‘As an MP, it’s important to champion what is happening in my city, and this is one of the good news stories.
‘We need to make sure Baytrees wins contracts around the country – this is a centre of excellence.
‘It’s an incredible place – in this city we have centres of excellence and we need to make sure other people know about them.’
Baytrees bosses raised concerns they were now spending more time having to promote their work to secure cash, and did not want it to affect what they provide.
They also stressed to Mrs Drummond how they would like to spend more time working with their clients in order to have greater impact – but a lack of funds limits the amount they can do.
But the MP praised how the service was working hard to promote its cause.
Baytrees clinical manager Karen Morris said: ‘If we could get a firm commitment on beds again with a commissioner on board, then that would be ideal. That means we would be able to work more closely with extremely vulnerable adults in extremely vulnerable situations, rather than having to go out and sell ourselves.
‘Saying that, Mrs Drummond is absolutely right that it makes us step up to the mark and review what we do.’
Doctor Jane Boskovic, who specialises in substance misuse, said: ‘Our plea is to be able to provide adequate and advanced services so we can have better outcomes for vulnerable people.’