7:40am Thursday 30th January 2014
By Kate Banks
CAMPAIGNERS are calling for increased awareness of plans to relocate an elderly peoples’ mental health unit from Trafford General to a hospital in Little Hulton.
If proposals go ahead, the 21 mental health beds dedicated to elderly people currently available in Trafford General Hospital will be moved to Woodlands Hospital, around 10 miles away.
But Cllr Jo Harding, who is also campaign co-ordinator for the Save Trafford General group, said the biggest problem is that no one seems to be aware that consultation has begun.
Cllr Harding said: “The fact is that the community services are just not adequate to meet need at the moment and we are facing yet more cuts to adult social care budgets.
“Worryingly, Trafford people don’t even know about this consultation.
“These cuts will impact on an extremely vulnerable client group and I cannot support them.
“I have extended an invitation to the trust to attend a public meeting on Friday, February 21, 6pm-7pm at Urmston Library."
A spokesman for Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Our understanding is that the NHS Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group is in urgent discussions with the local authority regarding the progress of the consultation.
"Engagement with the public is extremely important to us, however we must await the outcome of the aforementioned discussions before proceeding further."
Martin Finnigan, lead singer of prominent Urmston group, The Rainband, is backing the campaign which is particularly close to his heart as his mother, Kath Finnegan, was treated in the unit.
Kath, 71, who now has advanced dementia, stayed in the unit for nine weeks around two years ago while her condition was investigated and Martin said having her so close was invaluable.
“Anyone who knows dementia will tell you how difficult travelling is, my mum lives in a care facility in Sale now and the five minute journey taking her from hers to my house at Christmas was very difficult,” said Martin.
“A 45 minute journey from Urmston to the other side of north Manchester is just not feasible.”
The consultation document can be found at gmw.nhs.uk/news/home-consultation-document-600.
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