Wiltshire mental health suites closure plan paused

Mental health patient (generic posed by model) Image copyright PA
Image caption The Places of Safety were going to close in Swindon and Salisbury

Health bosses are reconsidering plans to close beds where emergency mental health assessments are made.

The Places of Safety in Salisbury and Swindon each contain one bed and are used for those detained by police under the Mental Health Act.

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) had planned to close the suites and expand Green Lane in Devizes from two beds to four.

Instead the suites will remain open while further discussions take place.

The decision has welcomed by Swindon's MPs who opposed the closure plans.

Last week, Swindon South MP Robert Buckland and his Conservative colleague for Swindon North, Justin Tomlinson, wrote a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Health to put pressure on AWP to reconsider its plans.

Mr Buckland said: "The experience for some of the people in need of a place for safety is that they're going to be in crisis.

"A journey across the county of 40 minutes, I don't think, is the right way to begin the process of assessment under the Mental Health Act."

A spokesman for AWP confirmed the trust would reconsider its plans to close them.

The suites will remain open until the issue is discussed at its meeting next month.

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