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Renowned mental health unit closes

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A mental health trust in South London has been criticised for trying to sneak out a decision to close a specialist hospital during the festive season.

South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust last week decided to close Henderson Hospital in March next year because of a lack of funding.

The 60 year old hospital, which is in Sutton, employs 11 nurses and provides intensive residential group therapy for adults between 16 and 60 years of age.

Michael Walker, Unison’s London regional officer, said: ‘Staff are shocked that a pioneering unit like the Henderson Hospital could be closed without proper consultation with patients and the community it serves.

‘To sneak out the closure over the Christmas period is a blatant attempt to stifle opposition to closure. Unison will support staff and users of this vital mental health service.’

Trust chief executive Peter Houghton said: ‘The board regrettably decided to close the Henderson Hospital in Sutton. Over the past 18 months managers and staff have worked hard in their attempts to secure a sustainable future for the service.’

A hospital spokesperson said the trust will attempt to redeploy staff affected by the decision.
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