Sale of valued Exmouth mental health facility put on hold for a year
PUBLISHED: 11:16 13 July 2017
NHS bosses have given St John’s Court a 12-month ‘stay of execution’ after failing to find an alternative in Exmouth
A mental health facility in Exmouth threatened with closure has been given a stay of execution.
For the last two years, NHS Devon Partnership Trust has been looking to sell St John’s Court, which provides care for mental health patients in Exmouth.
However, at a meeting of the town council on Monday, NHS representatives confirmed that the planned sale has been put on hold for 12 months.
Speaking at the meeting, Peter Leggatt, head of communications for the trust, said: “We have made it clear we would not dispose of St John’s Court until we found suitable premises in or close to Exmouth.
“In the two years since we started, we have been unsuccessful in finding suitable premises.
“We have got to a stage where we have not proceeded with the intended sale of St John’s Court.
“We are going to put a pause on the sale of St John’s Court for one year.
“It is still the organisation’s intention to sell, but we will not move out until a suitable premises is found.”
The news has come two years after a campaign group, Save St John’s Court, in St John’s Road, was launched when more than 100 people attended a public meeting.
Speaking at the council meeting this week, Dot Taylor, who spearheaded the campaign to save the facility, said: “The DPT need to take into consideration the stress and anxiety the uncertainty has, and is, causing service users, carers and staff at St John’s Court.”
Mr Leggatt added: “As much as we understand how much the local community values St John’s Court and we accept it is a nice environment, if and when we sell the property it won’t be withdrawing mental health services from Exmouth.
“The demand for mental health services is increasing daily.”
Councillor Brian Bailly told the NHS representatives: “I think a year will give you a chance to come to your senses.”
Cllr Steve Gazzard also expressed his relief that St John’s Court has been given a stay of execution.
He added: “We don’t want to see St John’s Court go and this [the sale] would be another chip away at Exmouth’s NHS services.”
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