Weavers Croft is an in-patient assessment and treatment hospital for older people with mental health needs. It also provides day hospital facilities and is a base for community staff.
Nineteen years ago, the old Coney Hill Mental Hospital was closed and the mental health needs of older people were relocated to units within communities in Gloucestershire. Weavers Croft was one such community unit and is set within very pleasant grounds just below Stroud Maternity in Field Road, Stroud. This was an enlightened move because over the ensuing years we have experienced a greater understanding of the needs of people requiring mental health care and the unit has been very beneficial.
When it opened Weavers Croft provided 24 inpatient beds but due to a perceived need for fewer mental health beds for older people, and because it no longer provides beds for respite care, the unit now has 18 beds.
Gloucestershire Partnership Trust are now proposing to close Weavers Croft and two similar units and to re-locate all patients to one unit in Charlton Lane, Cheltenham.
We believe very strongly that Weavers Croft should be allowed to continue to provide the fine health care appreciated so highly by patients and carers because:-
it has a proven record of providing high quality sensitive health care in a very safe environment
it is located within a vibrant caring community which has a large population
it is part of a community hospital complex with access to the extensive services provided at Stroud General Hospital
it is environmentally and socially unwise to increase the distances we need to travel
Older people with mental health problems have special needs because:-
they are more receptive to known and familiar surroundings and people and it is therefore quite intolerable to send them and their carers to Cheltenham
the journey for older carers to Cheltenham from the areas served by Weavers Croft is very difficult and often daunting
We appreciate that the Gloucestershire Partnership Trust has a financial deficit but it is unfair and disproportionate to reduce their budget for older people so drastically. Furthermore, they have said that they will be financially unable to increase community services as much as they would like.
To close Weavers Croft would be a move contrary to the principles of the recent White Paper on Health which encourages the delivery of health care nearer to where people live. It looks to give more choice to people as to where they receive health care.
Our General Practitioners strongly support the retention of Weavers Croft because it is offering an excellent service to our community.
We believe we have an enduring human responsibility to act in the best interest of a very dear and vulnerable group of our people. This is a cause of great urgency, deep social responsibility and of interest to us all as individuals. Please join us by:-