Major shake-up of NHS services as four centres shut to cope with COVID-19 fears


Vital services have been moved from four NHS centres in a bid to better protect staff and patients during the coronavirus crisis.

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust has closed the Bennett Centre, in Shelton; Dragon Square, at Chesterton; Broom Street, in Hanley; and the Hope Centre, in Hanley.

The move means some teams are now working from home.

But the services which used to be provided from those centres are still continuing and have been transferred to the Darwin Centre, at Penkhull; the Lyme Brook Centre, at Bradwell Hospital; the Sutherland Centre, at Dresden; and Harplands Hospital.

Director of operations Jonathan O’Brien said: “We have moved some of our services to different locations as a temporary measure during the coronavirus period.

“This ensures our service provision is not affected. It also allows our service users, their families and our staff to adhere to the Government’s social distancing advice as much as possible.

“Keeping our staff and local community safe is our priority during this time, as we continue to adapt to the challenges the whole country is facing. We would like to thank everyone involved for their understanding and co-operation.”

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The changes include:

  • Neuropsychiatry, neuropsychology and clinical health psychology moved from the Bennett Centre to Lyme Brook;
  • The community learning disability team moved from Broom Street to Harplands;
  • Children’s eating disorders moved from the Bennett Centre to the Darwin Centre;
  • The parent and baby team moved from Hanley to the Sutherland Centre;
  • A mental health support team moved from Dragon Square to the Darwin Centre.

Health campaigner Ian Syme accepts the changes have had to be made.

The North Staffordshire Healthwatch leader said: “Combined has had a few staff having to self-isolate so it is concentrating teams to create a critical mass of knowledge.

“There’s a certain degree of commonality between some of the different teams and they are getting all the experts in one place.

“Services should not be affected. But, of course, if COVID-19 accelerates they will have to make further arrangements.”





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