August 2, 2011
over Burnham centre's closing date raises concerns
in Burnham-On-Sea have this week expressed concern about the mixed
messages from the NHS regarding the closing date of a mental health
care centre in the town.
Burnham-On-Sea.com first reported
Belmont House in Technical Street, pictured, had been earmarked
for closure this summer.
The NHS insisted at the time that Belmont House would not be
closed until another base for its services had been established
- but it has since confirmed the closure, as reported here.
town councillor Helen Groves told Burnham-On-Sea.com on Monday
(August 1st): "The imminent closure is of deep concern as
there remains a lack of continuity to the information being provided
by the Somerset Partnership and the organisation itself."
assurances that the premises will not close before alternative
venues have been secured, there remains doubt as to where the
future provision will be made."
number of service users have been told that the closure date had
been moved forward to August 10th, however we sought clarification
from Belmont house itself and Cllr Tom Nicholls visited in person.
He was advised that the date had indeed been moved forward and
the last appointments would be given between the 10th and the
15th of this month."
a letter from Edward Colgan, Chief Executive of Somerset Partnership
NHS Foundation Trust, on the same date as Tom's visit stated that
Belmont would close on August 31st."
be entirely frank, I am highly concerned by the seeming lack of
consideration which is being given to the clients of Belmont by
She added: "Further, the indications I have received are
that the Berrow campus is the only site at which a long-term arrangement
has been made to provide appointments though several temporary
venues have been arranged."
difficulty this presents of course is one of accessibility. The
lack of transport links would actually make it easier for people
to travel to Bridgwater which is exactly the situation we had
hoped would be prevented."
understand that the Partnership says this closure is not motivated
by finance but in light of the lack of consideration made to those
who need the service and the overly hasty approach taken I really
do question that. I have attempted to seek clarification from
the partnership but as yet have not received a response."