Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Who We Are and What You Can Do To Help

Beds In The Orchard is a campaign for the reinstatement of female psychiatric inpatient provision at The Orchard hospital in Lancaster. The ward was closed to women in October 2014, without any consultation with local services users or the wider community. Women needing inpatient care are now sent between 30 - 60+ miles from their homes for treatment.

This closure discriminates against women in the local area and causes unnecessary distress and isolation of vulnerable women.  While women have always been sent out of area due to bed shortages, they previously would be moved back into area when a bed became free.  Now they must remain out of area for treatment that can see them separated from their families, friends and support networks for many months.

The Trust say this is temporary to cope with a peak in demand for male beds but it comes after closing 15 male beds elsewhere in the Trust and their own employees tell us that it's until the Harbour opens in Blackpool, scheduled for March 2015.  This is not acceptable.  Women are being hurt now.

What you can do to help

As well as this blog we are also on Twitter @OrchardBeds  - #bedsintheorchard.
Contact us by email on bedsintheorchard @ gmail . com
You can now also sign our on-line petitionClick Here

Please share our story and if you're on twitter,  retweet our posts to who may be interested in supporting our campaign.  You can tweet the Trust directly on @LancashireCare.

We need help to let the Trust and local Clinical Commissioning groups know that this is not acceptable and should be reversed as soon as possible.

The Deputy Network Director has recently become the voice of the Trust on this issue.  You can mail him directly - Keith.Dibble@lancashirecare.nhs.uk 

If you are not on twitter, please see the following pages on our blog for other contacts.

If you are not sure what to write when you complain, we have a letter that you can edit.

The closure of beds in Lancaster is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to poor funding of Mental Health across the UK.

Thank you for helping us make a difference.


  1. I have sent an email to keith.

  2. Thank you for your support, from all of us here at Beds in the Orchard.

  3. I want to tell them what i think and feel but it would probly be bad for me if I went back in hospital. I help as a volunteer sometimes too and they might stop that.
    Can't give my name. Sorry.

  4. You're not the only one who feels like that Anonymous. The fear in would-be contributors that this would in some way result in them being 'punished' if they went back into hospital is very common.

    Our main spokesperson had to think long and hard before being named personally in some of the articles we've been in. She shares the same concern.

  5. The government in this report said work was needed on improving mental health provision, not just for men!

  6. The whole of Mental Health in this country is desperately underfunded. It is just unacceptable the in this case only the women are paying the price for the cuts.