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Home   Medway   News   Article

United call against closure of mental health unit at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham

16 January 2014
by Jenni Horn

Councillors are calling on the NHS to reverse the decision to close Medway’s mental health ward.

Medway Conservatives are putting forward a motion at the full council meeting next Thursday, calling on NHS Commissioners and Kent and Medway NHS Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) to reverse the decision to shut A Block at Medway Maritime Hospital.

Thinkstock Image Library

Some mental health patients have to travel hundreds of miles for treatment. Library image.

Cllr David Brake, in charge of adult services, will move the motion that states the council’s extreme disappointment at the decision to remove the service and calls for its return.

The motion also calls on the council’s chief executive to write to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who backed the proposal.

Cllr Brake said: “This motion represents a chance for us to speak with a unified voice and let both the NHS Commissioners and KMPT know once and for all that none of us approves their decision and that all of us think they should reverse it.”

Cllr Teresa Murray

Cllr Teresa Murray

KMPT proposed the closure because the 35-bed block is outdated.

Patients will be treated at existing mental health wards in Maidstone, Canterbury, and Little Brook Hospital in Dartford.

Teresa Murray (pictured), Labour spokesman for health, said her party will be supporting the motion, particularly in light of recent allegations by a woman who said she was raped by a care worker at Little Brook Hospital more than 50 times.

Cllr Murray said although the matter had been dealt with, “it would have been very scary for vulnerable people to hear”.


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