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Mental health services moving to Stratford?

A HEALTHCARE campaign group claims NHS mental health premises in Leamington and Warwick are to be sold off and services relocated to Stratford, in a move that would harm the most vulnerable.

The group South Warwickshire Keep Our NHS Public (SWKONP) say the Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust have not consulted staff, patients or the public on the plans. According to the group all staff and patients at the outpatients’ premises will move to Stratford as part of cost-cutting measures that will see a number of premises sold.

Anna Pollert, chair of SWKONP, said: “Mental health facilities are not just chunks of real estate. They cannot be sold off without major repercussions for the most vulnerable people. “Mental health funding has already been cut to the bone. How can our communities be further starved of scarce resources? Please join our campaign to stop this short-sighted policy.”

The group says the premises being sold are St Mary’s Lodge, Whitnash Lodge and the Warwick Resource Centre while Ashton House, which is rented by the NHS, will not have its lease extended. SWKONP fear that any future public consultation into these sales will be nothing more than a rubber-stamping exercise.

They are also concerned about how vulnerable people would cope with potentially making long journeys by public transport to a town which they may not be familiar with.

Responding to SWKONP, Simon Gilby, Chief Executive from Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “We are continuing to review our use of buildings to ensure we continue to provide services to our patients in suitable premises whilst improving service efficiency.

“We can confirm there are no plans to cease the provision of any services or clinics in Leamington and Warwick. Changes to the locations of any clinics would, of course, involve engagement with our patients and the public to ensure that the venues continue to be accessible.”

For more information about SWKONP visit www.facebook.com/KeepOurNHSPublicWarwick.

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