Norfolk

Ashcroft Centre: Women's mental health unit to close

Anxious woman Image copyright PA
Image caption The Ashcroft Centre for women with mental health issues was saved from closure two years ago

A women's mental health unit which was saved from the brink of closure is to shut.

The Ashcroft Centre in Wicklewood, Norfolk, will close in March 2018 when council and NHS funding ends.

It was given a reprieve in December 2014 when supporters campaigned to keep it open.

Julian Support, which runs the centre, said it was "really sad" to close but without funding it cannot continue the service.

Norfolk County Council funds seven beds at the unit while South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) funds four.

Both contracts are due to come to an end on 1 March.

'Women-only support'

A spokeswoman for Julian Support said it has been "very passionate" about the service since taking over in 2012.

"We recognise that services have to change and some of those changes can be positive," she said.

"But the county council has not been clear about what's going to be put in place of Ashcroft and the service users' needs need to be met."

In a joint statement, Norfolk County Council and South Norfolk CCG said they were introducing a "more progressive model" of adult social services-funded mental health care from March.

They said instead of the Ashcroft unit, they would be working with a range of providers to give women support services, including in their own communities.

This will be complemented with a contract for a respite care bed and packages of social work care where necessary, they said.

A spokeswoman added: "These changes will transform the service and mean that more Norfolk women will have access to more dedicated women-only support, close to their homes."

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