Community United in Fight to Save Henderson Hospital

February 21, 2008 11:43 AM

Around 35 people attended the 'Save Henderson Hospital' lobby organised by Tom Brake MP and Paul Burstow MP in Westminster on Monday. Those attending included residents, ex-residents, staff, MPs, and other affected parties and health professionals.

Many residents and ex-residents spoke with great conviction about the huge contribution the Henderson has made to their recovery and to challenge the Government and the Health Trusts to find a mechanism for ensuring the long-term survival of the hospital.

Paul Burstow, Liberal Democrat MP for Sutton and Cheam, said "The Henderson should not close because of a flawed commissioning model. The Government accept the need for specialised residential provision for people with personality disorder. Ministers cannot wash their hands of this - they set the rules and the rules are wrong."

Tom Brake remarked, "The threat to the Henderson is financial not clinical. Nothing the Mental Health Trust or the Minister - in our meeting and debate with him - have said so far has convinced me otherwise. It is a national service which should be funded nationally. If it is left to individual PCTs to fund, they will fail to do so because it is too complicated and requires too much joined-up thinking."

A current resident who also spoke at the lobby highlighted the conflict between clinical need and lack of funding in conjunction with a lack of local appropriate care: she has been at Henderson for 4 months and has recently been told by her original Community Mental Health Team that she will not receive funding to stay at Henderson for her full stay in spite of the fact that there are no Personality Disorder (PD) services where she lives.

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