“We have taken the decision to disaffiliate from Mind in West Cumbria, which means they will no longer form part of the Mind network and will have to stop using the Mind brand. This is not a decision we have taken lightly and follows repeated efforts to resolve the problems we have been facing. On our advice, they have decided to close altogether and will no longer be providing mental health services as of September 2019.
“We routinely carry out quality checks of our local Minds. These checks include making sure that local Minds have all the right policies and procedures in place and are meeting the minimum standards in areas such as finance, governance, safeguarding, workplace wellbeing, data protection and handling complaints. We also speak to staff and service users and take their feedback into consideration.
“Our local Minds have to meet certain standards to be part of the Mind family. If we feel any of our local Minds are not meeting our expectations, we will work with them to make improvements. On rare occasions, if a local Mind continues to fall below the standards we set out or if the relationship between the local Mind and Mind is not working, we have no choice but to disaffiliate.
“We reviewed Mind in West Cumbria in March and found failings in all areas, in addition to which we have had complaints. We want to stress that we are not aware of any specific risks to the safety of service users or staff or any incidents where anyone has been harmed. If we were – or if any incidents of this kind come to light in future – we have very clear procedures in place that include reporting incidents to the police and local safeguarding teams.
“This is an extremely difficult time for staff and service users. The current chair, who only took office a few weeks ago, is working very closely with us to make sure we manage this closure as smoothly and safely as we can. We are doing everything possible to make sure current users of Mind in West Cumbria’s services are able to access support from local services and other local Minds.”
Anyone who needs mental health support in the county can still receive it through three local Minds across Cumbria - Ulverston Mind, Carlisle Eden Mind and Mind in Furness. Visit our Infoline page for information about how to access support.