Older people’s mental health services in Honiton

Posted on 30th August, 2012

Further details about local services and the future of The Bungalow were discussed at the latest meeting of the Honiton Older People’s Mental Health Stakeholder Group.

Honiton Town Councillor, Vernon Whitlock, said: “There is now a high degree of certainty that the plans for the development of The Bungalow will go ahead – and this is obviously good news for everyone concerned. It is a valued local resource and none of us wants to lose it. However, we are continuing to press the Trust for firm details about the timeframe for the refurbishment work to be conducted as we are understandably keen to see the unit re-open as a ‘hub’ for local mental health services as soon as possible.

“We do know that The Bungalow will become the work-base for mental health staff supporting both adults and older people and that it will provide a range of outpatient services and clinics for both groups. As far as older people are concerned, these will include memory services to provide early assessment for people with a possible dementia and education and training groups for their carers and families.

“General mental health assessments for older people will also be provided at The Bungalow, alongside wellbeing and recovery and therapeutic programmes to support people with a range of needs such as anxiety, depression, stress and memory problems.

“At our latest meeting we also discussed the importance of working closely alongside our neighbouring communities and we are looking to expand the Stakeholder Group to reflect this.”

After the meeting, Jacquie Mowbray-Gould, Devon Partnership NHS Trust’s Managing Partner for Older People’s Services, commented: “We understand the group’s frustration about the delay that has been caused while we have been striving to secure the funding for the redevelopment of The Bungalow. We are equally keen to press ahead with the project. 

“Capital funding for the development has been agreed and the final details of the financial paperwork are being completed now. A suitable contractor then has to be identified and selected through a tender process. There are clear regulations surrounding this exercise to ensure value for money and a fair and equitable process, but we will do everything possible to keep delay to a minimum. There is a substantial amount of work to be done to the fabric of the building and its IT infrastructure but we anticipate that work on the site will commence no later than November and we are hopeful that the unit will be ready to open next spring.”

The Honiton Older People’s Mental Health Stakeholder Group includes representatives from health and social care agencies, local GP practice, carers, community representatives and the voluntary sector. The local lay representatives are Val Royle, Heather Penwarden, Vernon Whitlock and Alf Boom.

For further information contact Peter Leggatt on 01392 208693.