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Fears for patients if trust shuts mental health day centre

By Victoria O'Hara

Closing a mental health day support centre will affect patients, a charity said last night.

Hope House, previously Willowtree house in Twinbrook, Co Antrim has provided support for adults for more than 25 years.

The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust are reviewing services and patients will be asked to move to an alternative service. The Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health (NIAMH) which part-funds Hope House, says it does not believe closing the centre will be economical.

Niamh's chief executive Peter McBride said: "This scheme costs the trust around £50,000 a year.

"It will cost them in my view at least that or more to relocate people and the potential cost of people being hospitalised. I just don't accept there is an economical argument.

"This is not like asking somebody to move bank. These are very deep connections that are built. It takes time, effort and skill to build up that trust."

In a statement the trust said: "We are currently reviewing many of our services. We will be talking individually to all of those who access services at Hope House to assess their individual needs and those discussions will inform the future shape of services. Our aim is to continue to provide a range of excellent recovery-based services to our service users."

Belfast Telegraph


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