Huge support for Foxley Lane to stay open

Foxley Lane Health Centre Pic: Niels Jakob Sondergaard Mye

Foxley Lane women’s mental health centre in Croydon should not be closed, according to the vast majority of people responding to a public consultation exercise.

According to a report published by the Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which wants to shut the centre down, 80% of survey respondents disagreed with the CCG that “regular community services could meet the needs of patients better than Foxley Lane”.

Croydon CCG proposed shutting Foxley Lane, Purley last November saying closure would save over £500,000 per year.

A consultation exercise concluded on January 6. Around 150 Croydon residents, patients and professionals gave feedback in person, while an online petition with 737 signatures, plus 57 written responses of the survey and one email response, were also received.

The future of the 8-bed centre which provides help for women aged 16 – 65 to recover from mental health crisis now hangs in the balance. Croydon CCG is still in favour of closing Foxley Lane, saying in the report: “Based on the case presented it is recommended that Foxley Lane is decommissioned and that the service is provided as outlined as part of a community-based model of care which has been designed to optimise outcomes and value for money.”

A final decision about Foxley Lane will be made tomorrow, January 17 by the governing body. The meeting to be held at Croydon College starts at 1pm.

The crunch meeting comes just a few days after a pledge from Prime Minister Theresa May to improve mental health care provision across the country.

The Prime Minster announced last week a comprehensive package of reforms to “improve mental health support at every stage of a person’s life, with an emphasis on early intervention for children and young people”.

A budget of £15m has been allocated to community care and £67.7m allocated to online self-check services and first aid training at every secondary school, as part of her plan for a “shared society”.

It seems unlikely however that the Croydon CCG, responsible for NHS budget evaluation, will scrap their plans for closing Foxley Lane.

Sophia, a former Foxley Lane patient commented on an online petition calling on the CCG to stop the closure: “This centre has been an absolute life saver for my family. The service they provide is outstanding. I cannot believe that the government is forcing services like this to be shut down.”

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