Questions raised over St John's Court plans

PUBLISHED: 06:30 14 July 2016

The Save St John's Court project group gathered for a photo before their meeting at Gleenorchy last week. Ref exe 28-16SH 1331. Picture: Simon Horn.

The Save St John's Court project group gathered for a photo before their meeting at Gleenorchy last week. Ref exe 28-16SH 1331. Picture: Simon Horn.

Archant

National health bosses are being accused of not being truthful about their plans to sell an Exmouth mental health facility.

The future of St John’s Court is under threat after Devon Partnership Trust (DPT) said it was looking to sell the building.

Scores of people turned out to a public meeting at Glenorchy Church Hall on Thursday, July 7, held by a campaign group trying to save St John’s Court.

In a letter read out at the meeting, DPT director of operations Dr David Somerfield confirmed plans to sell the facility, once an ‘adequate’ replacement has been found.

Dr Somerfield also confirmed the trust is looking at whether moving into Exmouth Hospital would be a ‘viable’ idea.

Speaking at the meeting, campaigner Dr Keith Edwards said: “They cannot do that – there isn’t the resources there with that particular hospital.”

He also claimed the trust is looking at 25 possible locations for mental health services.

DPT has since confirmed it has looked at more than 20 locations but nothing ‘firm’ is on the horizon.

Dr Edwards said: “Are they being truthful with us? They didn’t offer any names of those venues (other than the hospital) they have been to visit.”

He added that the trust has already set aside £600,000 in their budget for 2016-17 for the sale of St John’s Court.

A spokesman for DPT said: “It is important that people understand that there is no threat whatsoever to the future of services in Exmouth - which are very highly valued and delivered by a great team of staff.

“We do, however, need to find more affordable premises in the town and we are still actively looking for an alternative site. “We won’t do anything further until we have identified such a site and we have made this clear to our staff, people who use our services and members of the campaign group.”

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