Public consultation: Improving health-based places of safety in Kent and Medway

Date added: 22 February 2023

NHS Kent and Medway is seeking people’s views on proposals to improve Section 136 health-based places of safety (HBPoS).

HBPoS are the facilities Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) provides for adults needing emergency care and assessment under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

A public consultation launched today (Tuesday 21 February) and runs until midnight on Tuesday 18 April 2023.

“Dr Afifa Qazi, Chief Medical Officer and Consultant Psychiatrist at KMPT, said: “The wellbeing of our service users is at the very heart of everything we do at KMPT and this is especially true for people who are experiencing a mental health crisis and need our urgent care and support.  

“A place of safety is somewhere people stay when they are in extreme distress and are detained for their own safety and the safety of others. It is vital we create the right environment for people, that keeps them safe and offers them privacy and dignity. We are committed to using this additional funding to improve our facilities and to make sure people continue to receive high quality care.”


As part of the process, voluntary and community organisations are hosting discussions at a series of small in-person and online meetings.

We are asking groups to get in touch if they would like someone to join their meeting (online or in person) to talk through the proposals and hear people’s views. We can also speak to people over the phone, online or at a safe place.


Kent and Medway has been allocated £3.7million of government funding to make improvements to KMPT Section 136 HBPoS.

The money is capital funding and can only be used to expand or renovate an existing facility, build a new one, or buy major equipment.

Currently, there are five HBPoS spaces split across Section 136 suites on three sites in Maidstone, Dartford and Canterbury.

After looking at a number of options, the preferred one is to develop a large, fit-for-purpose Section 136 facility and bring the HBPoS together on one site at Priority House in Maidstone.

Dr Qazi added “This consultation process has been designed to encourage sensitive conversation and discussion about KMPT’s Section 136 health-based places of safety and our preferred option for residents. It is essential we hear people’s views to help shape the way forward. Please do get involved and share your views with us.”

Sharing views

Further information, the consultation document, questionnaire and the different ways to get involved and respond can be found on NHS Kent and Medway’s interactive engagement platform for the project Public consultation: Improving Section 136 health-based places of safety.

Printed copies of the documents and alternative formats or languages are available on request by emailing, putting HBPoS public consultation in the subject line.

People without access to email or the internet are invited to phone 01634 335095, select ‘option 2’, leave a message and we will call you back.