Campaigners oppose plans to shut Camden mental health centres

Campaigners are fighting proposals to close four Camden centres for adults with mental health needs.

The centres in Highgate, West Hampstead, Kentish Town and Cricklewood face closure after town hall chiefs announced plans to unite them at a single site in Greenwood Place, Kentish Town.

But campaigners say the consultation document is “vague” and have set up a group pressing the council to keep the centres open.

Jane Clinton, whose father suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and uses Netherwood Day Centre, in Netherwood Road, West Hampstead, said: “The consultation is as disappointing as it is offensive.

“It is vague and patronising and seems to be more interested in the caf� facilities it is to offer than the quality of care for the people who attend there.


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“Shunting people with very different and, at times, challenging mental health needs onto what is in effect an industrial estate is a cynical cost-cutting exercise.”

Netherwood has faced closure before.

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Earlier this year, the council withdrew plans to shut the building after thousands of people signed petitions calling for it to be saved.

Campaigners have vowed to continue their fight against the new proposals.

Ms Clinton said: “The council has a very short memory. The thousands of people who signed petitions prove Netherwood should be saved.

“Despite this, it is continuing with its plans to sell off well-loved and well-run places to centralise mental health.”

The other centres which are also under threat are Raglan, in Kentish Town, which looks after adults with dementia, Highgate Community Mental Health Centre, in Dartmouth Park Hill, for people with mental health difficulties, and New Shoots, in Shoot Up Hill, Cricklewood, for people with autism and learning difficulties.

Ms Clinton said: “We urge people to sign the petition to save these centres which are so treasured and valued in the community.

“The proposal is making people incredibly anxious, scared and depressed.

“Camden needs to wake up and protect the vulnerable in our borough, not attack them.”

A council spokeswoman stressed that the consultation was ongoing and said: “The proposal to build a new centre on the Greenwood site in Kentish Town would enable the council to offer a new space that would promote wellbeing and independence in a community-based resource centre for current and future users.”

To sign the petition visit http://tinyurl.com/6ac5e84

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