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Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington

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MP's Turn up The Pressure In Fight To Save Henderson Hospital

May 13, 2008 1:54 PM

Local MPs, Tom Brake and Paul Burstow, are organising a cross-party lobby of senior Executives at the South West London and St Georges Mental Health Trust, to persuade them to back the Henderson Hospital in Belmont. Last week a cross party group of MPs met with former Henderson residents and staff to learn more about the way the service had changed their lives for the better. The Henderson has a national and international reputation for its treatment of people with personality disorder. The hospital is under threat of closure because of Government policy which complicates the funding of services for health conditions that are rare.

The borough's MPs have written to Trust Chairman, John Rafferty and Chief Executive Peter Houghton, ahead of a crucial meeting of the Trusts Operational Management Group on Tuesday (13th May). The meeting has been called to discuss the results of a 30 day staff consultation concerning options for the service during the temporary closure. In the letter the Mr Burstow and Mr Brake say:

"It is our view that the Trust should seek to keep to a minimum the redeployment of Henderson staff to minimise the loss of expertise. Further we hope that you will ensure that the Henderson core team is of a size sufficient to enable it to liaise with potential patients, clinicians and commissioners on a full-time basis to enable the residential unit to re-open, as well as maintaining its crucial outreach work. We note that the Trust maintains that Henderson remains as 'business as usual' and we are sure you recognised that this cannot be achieved with insufficient staff in the core team.

" We believe that the Henderson should be a jewel in the Trust's crown and could become an important USP in the Trust's application for Foundation Trust status. Given that the model of treatment offers a practical route to recovery through personal responsibility and social inclusion, something at the core of the Trust's self-professed values."