On 27th March 2020 the Gordon Hospital on Vauxhall Bridge Road was closed.
Today, some three and half years later, this important 80-bed mental health facility remains closed.
The pandemic was originally cited as reason for closure in order to keep both patients and staff safe. However the post-pandemic review promised at the time has failed to materialise, despite numerous calls by Westminster Labour.
The Gordon provided the only inpatient community mental health beds in Westminster. Currently, patients are either sent several miles away to St Charles Hospital in North Kensington or a significant number to locations much further afield.
Labour’s Cllr Nafsika Butler-Thalassis, Cabinet Member for Health Services explains the detrimental effect of the closure on mental health service users in Westminster.
“Patients are now experiencing extremely long waits for beds often in very inappropriate settings like A&E wards. When a bed is finally found, it is outside Westminster, and sometimes very far from Westminster which contributes to the isolation of mental health patients from their families and communities.”
“While community mental health services are very important, we don’t believe that community mental health services should be funded at the expense of acute hospital beds. We need funding for both services which often serve different populations.
We urge the government to fund the NHS properly to reopen the acute mental health beds at the Gordon Hospital.”
Cllr Nafsika Butler-Thalassis added: “I’m very worried about the experience of Westminster mental health patients at the moment. Staff tell me that the lack of local beds is making the experience of being admitted to hospital much more traumatic than it needs to be and delaying recovery.”