Wiltshire

Devizes mental health hospital to close 30 unused beds

Green Lane Hospital sign
Image caption The beds at Green Lane Hospital are amongst 30 unused in the county.

Twenty beds are to close at a psychiatric hospital in Wiltshire under a plan to treat more mental health patients in the community.

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership said the beds, at Green Lane Hospital, Devizes, were amongst 30 going empty in the county every week.

It claimed many patients had voiced preference for being treated at home.

Clinical director Dr Julie Hankin said the money saved by the bed closures would be re-invested in the service.

"We're spending public money on keeping beds open which aren't being used and we feel this is a fantastic chance to use that money more effectively," she said.

"The money is being invested in other parts of the service, so although it's about efficiencies, it's not about ripping money out of the service."

Karen Frayling, from the mental health support charity, Alabare Include, said that while she supported the care of patients in their home environment, there were concerns that some could "fall through the gap".

"What we don't want to see are people who are too unwell for our community-based service, but aren't poorly enough to need to be in hospital," she said.

"Nobody wants that group of people not to receive a service."

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