SOUTHERN Health is reviewing new plans for the mental health unit Crowlin House in a bid to move it away from being an “institutionalised” place.

Crowlin House, on Calmore Road, Totton, provides temporary accommodation for patients who have left the hospital but require rehabilitation before they can live independently.

In June, staff and service users launched a bid to save the site, judged “not fit for purpose” by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

However, a recent report indicates that Southern Health, which runs the unit, and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board (ICB), which oversees NHS services, have been consulting residents, staff and other stakeholders.

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That will inform the development of an options appraisal for the future of Crowlin House.

The update report presented at the Health and Adult Social Care (HASC) Select Committee on November 21, said: “We will continue to engage with stakeholders and will be developing the options in partnership with the ICB and will aim to present the recommended option to HASC in late May 2024. At this stage, the options appraisal is still being developed.”

At the meeting, the Southern Health officer said they would try and move away from it being an “institutionalised” place, effectively meaning residents aren’t always discharged.

They said: “We are looking now to reestablish the referrals into Crowlin House to maximise the use of the setting. We need to make sure those placed there are the most appropriate people.

“There are a number of exciting opportunities in the future vision around Crowlin House we are looking to engage and evolve. Certainly, we have a wide range of conversations with current residents and social care partners about future use.

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“They are still under review, but there are really exciting opportunities to make a difference for residents and move away from a more institutionalised place. We are looking at something that combines more opportunities for people to live independently outside of the residential setting when appropriate.

Cllr David Harrison highlighted the importance of this type of care home that offers opportunities to those who need it most.

He said: “The house provides an opportunity for a mixture of services. It is not directly near to any other houses, and for particular users, it is an ideal facility. It is worth maintaining and investing in order to provide opportunities for everybody’s needs.”