HEALTH bosses have made a dramatic U-turn and agreed to halt plans to close a mental health unit for elderly people at Trafford General Hospital.

The ‘Home’ consultation to remove Trafford’s 21 mental health beds and relocate them to Woodlands Hospital, in Little Hulton, was launched by Greater Manchester West (GMW) trust on January 6, but Urmston councillor, Jo Harding, led a campaign which argued there was very little public awareness of the plans.

And on January 28, Trafford's Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), in agreement with GMW, agreed to stop the consultation on the redesign of mental health services in the borough.

Trafford Council has welcomed the decision.

Trafford CCG and GMW have said consultations on similar plans for Salford and Bolton are to go ahead.

Kate Green MP and Cllr Harding have both expressed ‘delight’ at the news.

Cllr Harding said: “I understand that GMW is disappointed at the opposition from local councillors and state that the public consultation is a ‘very genuine’ exercise in seeking wider views and suggestions from the general public.

“This certainly didn't appear to be the case as in fact very few people were aware that a pre-consultation had taken place in December and that the consultation was live.”

Bev Humphrey, chief executive of GMW said: “I am disappointed that these discussions in the Trafford area are being closed down before they have been properly heard.

“However, we have a good and constructive relationship with our CCG commissioners and social service colleagues and I understand how sensitive any suggestions that may further affect the Trafford General Hospital site provision are.”

A spokesman for Trafford CCG said: “Considering the views of key partner organisations, particularly Trafford Council, we have agreed with GMW to stop the consultation process in respect of how the proposals affect Trafford.”

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