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Psychotherapist warns Camden mental health will become a two tier service

PUBLISHED: 12:01 17 February 2012

Ora Dresner has warned that patients will suffer if CPU closes

Ora Dresner has warned that patients will suffer if CPU closes

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A shake-up in commissioning of mental health services will lead to a two-tier service with psychotherapy the reserve of the rich, a top therapist has warned.

Ora Dresner, manager of the Camden Psychotherapy Unit (CPU), told councillors last Thursday the small Kentish Town centre is on the brink of closure because of the changes.

She said: “We are deeply concerned that Camden is no longer providing psychological services for a significant number of people with complex non psychotic disorders.

“It destroys an excellent community service with expertise, which once lost cannot be replaced.”

She added: “We are losing the principle of all necessary treatments being available to all.

“There will be one service for those who can pay and another for those who cannot.”

The CPU was set up in Kentish Town Road in 1969 and offers psychotherapy to around 100 people every year, of which about 80 claim benefits.

But managers have had to embark on a major fundraising bid because of commissioning changes, which has left the centre struggling with deep funding cuts.

So far they have raised £30,000, but the centre may have to charge for services or close as this money runs out.

Rebecca Harrington, Camden PCT heath officer, said: “The PCT does not have preference to large or small organisations.

“We are working hard to ensure people who need psychotherapy support get it.”

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