The news that Stratfield House, the Wellington day care centre for elderly people with mental health problems, is to close has been received with considerable concern by the League of Friends (LoF) who have supported Wellington Community Hospital for 50 years. Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust which manages the day care unit has announced that it will close at the end of January 2019, together with Popham House and The Court residential care homes.
LoF long-serving Treasurer, John Bailey, said, “The League of Friends is very concerned about issues surrounding both the Community Hospital and Stratfield House day care centre.
“In the case of the Community Hospital we have been told it will re-open with patients on October 15th following repairs to pipework and redecoration. This is good news and indicates that Somerset Partnership NHS Trust are keen to continue the important part that the hospital plays in the facilities available to the Wellington Community. In this case Wellington is a winner.
“However, much more distressing is the intended closure of the Stratfield House day care centre which provides respite opportunities for carers of people with dementia and other mental health problems.
“The League of Friends has been pressing the two parties involved in providing the service ( Somerset County Council and Somerset Partnership NHS Trust) to get together and reverse the decision to close the centre but have been faced with a blank refusal to even consider doing so.
“The impact this will have on both carers and patients is devastating and will have a serious impact on some of the most vulnerable people in the district. The centre has been well used over the past few years and, until the authorities began to withdraw from sending referrals, very effective in helping vulnerable people to get the help they so desperately need and deserve.
“The unit will close at the end of January 2019 and this vital service will cease. This is a shameful scandal on the part of the very authorities charged with supporting and helping the most deserving in our community.”
Stratfield House currently provides care for 20 clients who use the centre up to five day each week. It employs four full time and two part time staff.
Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has been asked to comment but have yet to respond.