Stevenage mental health wards to close ahead of reshuffle

Two NHS-run mental health wards are to close for refurbishment

Two NHS-run mental health wards are to close for refurbishment - Credit: Archant

Two NHS-run mental health wards are to close for refurbishment, with some current patients to be permanently moved elsewhere.

Elizabeth Court and Victoria Court in Graveley Road, Stevenage, will both be shutting under plans from the Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) to provide specialist care at each facility.

Currently the two courts offer services to 54 older people with mental health needs, but Elizabeth Court will be turned into an acute mental health inpatient facility for adults after the refurbishment, while Victoria Court will be used for elderly care in general.

Elizabeth Court will close in October 2014, and is due to reopen in March 2015. Those determined to have high needs will be accommodated in Victoria Court during the closure, with other patients moved to private facilities elsewhere.

Once Elizabeth’s refurbishment is complete, Victoria Court is then expected to shut for the following five months under the same arrangement.

A spokesman for the HPFT told the Comet: “Under our plans, we will provide care for those with the greatest needs in Stevenage and in other facilities in Hertfordshire and work with a range of partners to ensure that those who do not require the very specialised services we will provide, will receive the care that best suits their needs with a choice of services closer to their homes.

“Service users will need to move out of the units during the refurbishment. Those with more specialist needs will move back after the refurbishment, while others with less complex needs will be given a choice of local care homes that are run by the voluntary and independent sector with input from our clinicians, and with the cost covered by the Trust. We would like to reassure service users that the care they receive will not be compromised.”

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The plans were discussed with affected parties earlier this month, and follow public events in March.