After expressing that he is “deeply concerned” about proposals to move vital mental heath beds away from Newcastle and Gateshead, Blaydon MP Dave Anderson has told b**p he is “working with campaigners” to help reduce the impact of the move.

The proposal to move the adult acute assessment and treatment service for the Newcasle and Gateshead areas elsewhere has prompted the Labour MP to speak out. It would mean that patients at the St Nicholas Hospital rehabilitation service in Gosforth would have to move to either St George’s Park in Morpeth or Hopewood Park in Sunderland.

At a time when the mental health budget has been severely cut by over £80m since May last year, services are under strain more than ever and it is little surprise that more patients would be left worse off if the move went ahead. Moreover, making patients move further away from the surroundings they know well and family and friends who will visit them does not contribute to their recovery. In fact, it adds more instability and insecurity to their lives, with Mr Anderson claiming it could “delay and undermine” the recovery process.

Speaking to b**p, the Labour MP said: “I’m working with campaigners to try and ensure that the move to treat more patients with mental health problems doesn’t lead to a situation where we end up with no facilities for the people who desperately need in-patient services. And we must ensure that those services are easily accessed by patients and visitors alike.”