Huddersfield’s last mental health unit is set to be overhauled with the likelihood that jobs will go.
Enfield Down at Honley is the only facility in Kirklees to admit adult in-patients who are suffering mental health crises such as psychosis, manic depression or schizophrenia.
It was opened in 1991 to take people from Storthes Hall psychiatric hospital - which closed down.
Health chiefs then opened the Priestley Unit at Dewsbury Hospital for older people only.
People of working age were re-located to the Dales Unit in Halifax.
Amid a review of all its in-patient services, South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust (SWFYT), has now outlined plans to down-size Enfield Down.
Some patients currently living there may be asked to move out.
SWYFT says its likely that it will need fewer nurses but says other jobs will be created as it moves to treating more patients in their own homes.
The 31 bed facility on Station Road was formerly an old people’s home and despite a recent refurbishment, bosses say it needs bringing up to date.
A report says the facility suffers a lack of personal space, poor wheelchair access, a lack of bathrooms and toilets, no potential for en-suite facilities, and difficulties in managing the single sex agenda.
The proposal is to reduce it to a 20 bed unit to serve not only Kirklees patients but also those from Calderdale and Wakefield.
SWYFT says it will mitigate the bed loss by enhancing community care to prevent people from deteriorating to the point where they need in-patient admission.
At Kirklees Council’s health scrutiny panel, SWYFT managers recommended the plan to councillors.
John Keaveny, SWYFT’s deputy district service director for Kirklees and Calderdale, said: “The benefits of it are very clear. “Instead of people being institutionalised where people are monitoring them all the time, carrying out investigations in excess of what they might need, people will be living in their own settings in their own areas.”
Clr Robert Barraclough asked Mr Keaveny how the proposed shake-up would affect staffing.
The papers presented to the panel suggest nursing staff will be slashed as SWYFT cuts 36 beds in total across its patch, which also includes Calderdale and Wakefield.
Mr Keaveny declined to reveal how many nurses would be made redundant but said more community posts would be created, which would be “very attractive” to people.
The scrutiny panel heard the proposal was the favoured idea at the moment but it had not been confirmed.
Vicky Dutchburn, head of strategy, business planning and service improvement at Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group, allayed fears that the region would lose all inpatient beds, as has happened in other areas.
“We’re explicit that we do need an inpatient facility,” she told the panel.
“Enfield Down could be refurbished to do this or it could be we find somewhere else with our other providers.”
Mrs Dutchburn said they hoped to get the project moving within months.