July 5, 2011
express concern over future of mental health centre
town councillors in Burnham-On-Sea have this week expressed their
disappointment at 'conflicting statements' regarding the future
of a closure-threatened mental health therapy centre in the town.
week that Belmont House in Technical Street, pictured, has been
earmarked for closure later this summer despite earlier reassurances
that this would not happen until another base for its services
had been found.
Councillors at Monday evening's town council meeting said they
are unhappy at the statements being made.
Cllr Helen Groves said: "I am unhappy that the position
regarding the centre's future seems to change so frequently, which
is very worrying for its users."
Tom Nicholls added: "We were assured just a few weeks
ago that Belmont House would not close, so it's disappointing
that we now seem to be hearing a conflicting statement."
Cllr Alan Miller added during Monday's meeting: "We want
a clear position at a local level about the centre's future."
The town council will be formally writing to the Chief Executive
of NHS Somerset Partnerhsip to request the official position.
A letter sent to Belmont House users last month by Colin Nash,
the centres service manager, stated that the property will
no longer be used for services in the Burnham area from August
or September, but added that appointments will still be available
in the Burnham area.
The letter said: "We will be seeing people in a range of
other NHS buildings in the Burnham and Highbridge area which are
more suitable. We will also be able to offer appointments in Bridgwater
if this would be more convenient."
The letter says that Belmont House is not suitable for people
with disabilities because it lacks modern facilities such as a
An NHS Somerset spokesman added: "There is no question of
the existing services at Belmont House being stopped or the building
being closed before patient and carers' views have been properly
considered and alternative premises indentified and services fully