HEALTH chiefs are again discussing plans to transform mental health care with the public before major changes to the service are rolled out.

NHS commissioners signed off plans to overhaul mental health care in east Cheshire last week – including six community beds and 24-hour crisis support – in order to bring performance up to national standards.

As part of the plans, inpatient beds for dementia and mental health patients will be kept in Macclesfield – but specialist rehab beds for a small number of patients will move to Chester.

At a Cheshire East health and wellbeing board meeting on Tuesday, Alex Mitchell, chief finance officer at NHS Eastern Cheshire clinical commissioning group (CCG), confirmed that a four-week consultation will take place to make sure the changes are made as smoothly as possible.

He said: “The governing bodies have agreed to move forward, but also recognise there is a need to consult.

“So we are working through the mechanics of how we consult on those changes.

“That is the work we are currently doing. We will have a four-week consultation period and present the findings of that.”

As part of the plans, the Millbrook unit will close and inpatient beds will move to Lime Walk House, both in Macclesfield.

In proposals brought to the public for consultation earlier this year, beds for specialist rehab were to be moved to Soss Moss, in Nether Alderley – while a significant number of adult mental health patients would have had to travel to Bowmere, in Chester.

But after NHS Eastern Cheshire, Vale Royal and South Cheshire CCGs agreed to pay an extra £730,000 to keep inpatient beds in Macclesfield, Soss Moss will not be renovated as originally planned – meaning rehab beds will be moved to Bowmere instead.

The Guardian understands that this will affect around five patients from east, mid and south Cheshire at any one time.

“Those are the areas we need to go out and consult with the public on because they are significantly different from what the original proposals were,” Mr Mitchell added.

Consultation will run until December 21.

To take part email or call 01625 663477.

For more information visit