COLNE: Mental health centre closing

Stanley Villas mental health centre in Colne which is closing down. A020211/3

Stanley Villas mental health centre in Colne which is closing down. A020211/3

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A COLNE centre which helps people with mental health problems access community services is closing.

Lancashire County Council has confirmed plans to close Stanley Villas in Albert Road and relocate staff to the Fernandes Centre, Burnley.

Until last year the centre provided day care for people with mental health issues.

But following a review of day centres in East Lancashire last March, the service changed to become more community focused.

The former manager of Stanley Villas, Alan Grey, said he fears the latest changes will bring about a reduction in service.

“Last year we saw the service change from a day centre to a Community Restart programme and now they are thinking of moving the whole service to Burnley.

“I am worried about the future for mental health sufferers in Pendle.”

But Mike Banks, head of active intervention and safeguarding at Lancashire County Council said: “The aim would be to relocate staff from Stanley Villas to the Fernandes Centre in Burnley, staff from the Bacup Resource Centre in Rawtenstall and the Accrington Wellbeing Project on Manchester Road to the Mount.”

“As these are staff who work alongside people in the community or in their own homes there would be no loss of service.

“In fact placing them in offices together with their NHS colleagues would help to provide a more seamless service, while saving money on accommodation.

“It would also enable us to extend the service in other areas such as the Ribble Valley, where our present resources are more limited.”

Run in partnership between Lancashire County Council and the NHS, Community Restart is an award-winning scheme to improve social inclusion by helping people with mental health problems to access education, employment, leisure and other community facilities.

In a national review of these services in 2009 the Lancashire partnership achieved the highest performance scores in the country.