Posted on 7th August, 2006
Devon Partnership NHS Trust has announced that it will conduct a three-month public consultation on the development of integrated rehabilitation services for adults with severe and enduring mental health problems in Torbay. The announcement follows last month’s decision by the Trust’s Board to close Watcombe Hall. The proposed closure was discussed at a meeting of Torbay Council’s Health Scrutiny Board held on 2 August 2006, at which members recommended that the Trust proceed with a public consultation to ensure that all views and concerns are taken into account. Commenting on the consultation, Chief Executive Iain Tulley said: “We are already preparing to work with staff, service users, families and other stakeholders to help design the new services and the public consultation will further bolster our efforts to ensure that we involve everyone and achieve the best possible outcome. “What is clear at this early stage is that a number of people feel very strongly about our decision to close Watcombe Hall – and I understand their feelings entirely. The team does some great work and the service is highly valued. Our job is to convince people that we can capture the good work that goes on there; design new, integrated rehabilitation services for Torbay and invest the money that is currently spent on Watcombe Hall to benefit a greater number of people. “We have given an assurance that we will not act in haste and that we will involve people every step of the way. More importantly, we have given a guarantee that we will take time to assess and make suitable alternative arrangements for all of Watcombe Hall’s current residents and not close the unit until firm plans are in place to deliver the new service.” Watcombe Hall is an 11 bed unit that provides an inpatient rehabilitation service. It provides care and support for adults with severe and enduring mental health problems as they make their journey towards recovery and independent living.