Bath brain injury rehabilitation centre closes

The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases
Image caption The hospital is more commonly the Min

A specialist rehabilitation centre in Bath for people with brain injuries has been closed.

The unit, at Bath's Royal National Hospital, shut on Sunday following a drop in demand for services.

Councillors are now urging the government to reverse the decision and have written to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The hospital trust said the NHS would continue to treat the patients who need care elsewhere in the country.

Peter Miles, elected public governor for the hospital, criticised the closure and said it may not be too late for the government to step in.

Mr Miles said: "The local council was not informed of this decision until some time in January.

"They have a statutory right to be informed early on so they can consult, so they're quite upset about this and they've referred it to the Secretary of State."

Closure 'insane'

The letter has been written by Bath and North East Somerset Council's wellbeing policy development and scrutiny panel.

The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases NHS Foundation Trust has previously said in a statement that the number of local patients they cared for was "really quite small at around 20 people a year".

It said: "Current patients will continue to receive all the care and support they need while new arrangements are explored."

The hospital is also known as The Royal Mineral Water Hospital, or more commonly the Min.

Stuart Noad, who underwent rehabilitation at the unit after suffering a head injury when he came off his bike last May, said: "There's nothing like the treatment I got at the Min and needed to have at the Min.

"I had come across fabulous individuals before but I had never seen a group of individuals working together as a unit so incredibly.

"So I went from learning that existed and was incredibly grateful for it, to a few days later being told it was going.

"I know I've had a head injury, but to me that's insane."

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