Portsmouth drug and alcohol detox facility earmarked for closure

Baytrees Residential Detox Centre, at  St James' Hospital
Baytrees Residential Detox Centre, at St James' Hospital

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HEALTH officials are to scrutinise a proposal to close a drug and alcohol detoxification centre in Portsmouth.

The board of Solent NHS Trust has recommended shutting Baytrees Residential Detox Centre, at St James’ Hospital, in Locksway Road, Milton, as not enough beds are being taken up by patients and the lack of uptake has resulted in losses of up to £500,000 a year.

Latest figures show only seven of the 23 beds are currently being used by patients, and none of them are from Portsmouth.

It comes despite people who have seen their lives transformed thanks to the work of Baytrees warning of the danger closing the facility would have.

Portsmouth City Council’s health, overview and scrutiny panel (HOSP) will meet at 9.30am this morning at Portsmouth Guildhall to pore over the trust’s plan.

A report being presented to members says: ‘Unfortunately the effort the Trust has invested in increased marketing and exploration of other opportunities has not had a sustained positive affect on occupancy rates.

‘To a large extent, this is because the drive from public sector commissioners has been away from inpatient detox and towards community-based programmes.

‘In order for Baytrees to be viable, 17 of the 23 beds need to be occupied consistently every day.

‘During Q2 2015/16, the busiest quarter to date this year, 11 beds were occupied on average each day. ‘Baytrees is forecast to be £450,000 in deficit by the end of this financial year.’

The HOSP panel has the power to stop the move, so long as other HOSP committees in the county agree.