The future for St Andrew’s Wells

We have written a lot about “consultations” of late. One of those, run by Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) looked at the future of St Andrew’s Ward in Wells. The ward is part of the mental health facilities on the Glastonbury Road, Wells. The CCG wanted to close St Andrew’s Ward, and move the beds to Yeovil. So although the number of beds would be the same, access to them for residents of Mendip would have been much harder.

The majority of people responding to the consultation said they wanted no change. The CCG planned to go ahead anyway. Local campaigner Emma King with support from Dave Chapple refused to accept the decision. They took a petition against the closure to town and parish councils across the region. To date they have 2,327 signatures.

Today the CCG announced the ward closure would not come into effect until the summer of 2022. But of course that is not a reprieve. Merely a stay of execution. The CCG want to make it clear that the decision is made. It is merely the time the process takes that will mean St Andrew’s ward will remain open into 2022. In a statement they told us “Our commitment and decision to make the move as soon as it is safe to do so, remains the same, and the experiences of the last 12 months have reinforced that the direction of travel in Somerset’s mental health services is the right one for our people. The pandemic has affected everyone’s mental and physical wellbeing both here in Somerset and across the country.”

The campaigners say they will continue to make their voices heard. They will keep the petition open. Encourage local people to write to the CCG at somccg.fitformyfuture@nhs.net to express their opposition. In addition two further protests are planned. A Day of Action/Suicide Awareness event on Sat 17th April. This will be in the grounds of St John’s church in Glastonbury High Street at 6,30-8pm. There are plans for a demonstration at the CCG HQ in Yeovil, Wynford House, on Thursday 27th May. Details to be confirmed in due course.

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