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JOINT PLAN FOR MENTAL HEALTH

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Joint action by two London boroughs has offered hope for the survival of a walk-in emergency clinic for people with...
Joint action by two London boroughs has offered hope for the survival of a walk-in emergency clinic for people with mental health problems.

Lambeth and Southwark LBCs' joint health scrutiny committee referred the decision to close the unit at the Maudsley Hospital to the health secretary, in one of the most impressive examples of councils' growing health scrutiny power.

In a letter to Patricia Hewitt, the committee, which was set up to fight the plan, said it was referring the matter 'on the grounds that the proposal for change is not in the interests of the local health service'.

Lambeth councillor Angie Meader (Lib Dem), chair of the committee, said: 'I would hope the secretary of state and the government would realise how important mental health services are and stop using them as a means to fund more popular services.'

The South London and Maudsley NHS Trust says the 50-year-old unit is outdated.
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