MPs are calling for an 'emergency' halt to the transfer of Barrow's mental health services to a new trust following a 'damming report.'

On October 1 Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services in south Cumbria will be transferred from Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust to Lancashire Care Foundation Trust (LCFT).

However, following a report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) MPs are 'deeply worried.'

The report, carried out between May 21 to 26 May 2019, highlighted 'significant concerns' about patient safety, privacy and dignity within the mental health crisis services.

It also highlighted that mental health decision units were not fit for purpose and persistently 'failed to meet the basic needs of patients.'

Among other concerns, this prompted the CQC to take immediate enforcement action by issuing the trust with a Section 29A warning notice for this core service.

This advised the trust that their findings indicated a need for significant improvement in the quality of healthcare.

Following the tragic death of five young men and one woman, all believed to have taken their own lives in Barrow The Mail launched its 'Time to Talk' campaign and now following this report MPs are trying to put an 'emergency break' on the transfer.

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said: “The mental health crisis for our young people is bad enough without putting their care into the hands of an organisation that is continuing to fail people in need.

“An emergency brake should be applied to the deeply controversial takeover of child mental health services by Lancashire in the light of this damning report that sets out how vulnerable children across the border are being let down.

“Parliament may be suspended but the work to get the best deal for our area goes on do I hope the minister for mental health will grant me and Tim Farron an urgent meeting to discuss this deeply worrying situation."

MP Tim Farron said: “I’m hugely concerned about the CQC’s damning report. After years of failure from Cumbria Partnership Trust, it feels like we are going from the frying pan into the fire and young people with mental health problems and their families deserve better."

The report did however state rate 10 of the trust’s 14 core services as good overall.

Director of Nursing and Quality, Maria Nelligan said: “Lancashire Care’s Community CAMHS services have held a CQC rating of ‘good’ since 2016. In 2018, the Trust’s inpatient service, The Cove was inspected and rated as ‘requires improvement’. Over the last year a significant amount of work has been done, in co-production with young people to make those improvements. The Cove was inspected again in May to June this year and the CQC have raised its rating to ‘good’. The CQC also confirmed they saw evidence of outstanding practice.

“Morecambe Bay CCG have expressed a clear commissioning intention of having one provider of mental health services for the Lancashire and South Cumbria area and we have responded accordingly.

“CAMHS is one of our highest priorities and more clinicians are being recruited, including more psychiatry consultant support, and we have secured funding to increase the number of junior doctors and registered nurses. The leadership in the South Cumbria locality has been enhanced to provide additional oversight for CAMHS and ensure implementation of the THRIVE Model and its person centred approach across the area when agreed by Commissioners.

“Lancashire Care has fully contributed to the development of The THRIVE model across the Lancashire and South Cumbria footprint with commissioners and all providers. The model has been co-produced with young people and their families to ensure high quality mental health and emotional well-being support provided until a young person’s 19th birthday.”

A full summary of the report can be read at:

Where to seek help

  • The Samaritans free helpline can be contacted 24hours a day 365 days a year by phoning 116 123.
  • Local support is available from Mind in Furness (01229 827094), Ulverston Mind (01229 581578) and South Lakeland Mind (01539 740591)
  • For those bereaved by suicide you can find your nearest SOBS support group at or call 0300 111 5065
  • For children bereaved by suicide, the Child Bereavement UK helpline is 0800 02 888 40