Campaigners Opposing Closure of Mental Health Wards

Trust says units at St Bernard's Hospital no longer fit for purpose

Members of Ealing Save Our NHS protest against the closures
Members of Ealing Save Our NHS protest against the closures


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January 19, 2023

Local Health campaigners have presented a petition calling on Ealing’s NHS bosses to re-instate beds for adults and children who find themselves in mental health crisis.

A report from the campaign group Ealing Save Our NHS has highlighted concerns over plans to permanently close Hope and Horizon wards on the St Bernard’s Hospital site which is next to Ealing Hospital.

West London NHS Trust is proposing to make permanent the suspension of 31 beds as part of its new model of care. At the same time there will be the re-provision of 18 beds on Robin Ward at Lakeside Mental Health Unit in Hounslow, dedicated staffing at the Hounslow and Hammersmith and Fulham Health Based Places of Safety and an extra 9 ‘step down’ beds, to support people in their recovery back to independent living. It is also proposing further enhancements including a travel scheme, and enhanced crisis and community services.

The proposals do not affect other wards and services on the St Bernard’s Hospital site in Ealing – where the Trust will continue to deliver regional specialist forensic mental health and older peoples’ mental health services in separate facilities containing 272 beds.

Eve Turner, Secretary of Ealing Save Our NHS said, “Hope and Horizon wards are the last two acute mental health wards in Ealing which can take for adults under 65. Closing them would be a loss of vital beds that the area can ill afford and it means adults in crisis being sent out of the borough away from their support networks. Children in severe crisis are already sent out of Ealing.”

She added, “Ealing Save Our NHS regularly holds campaign stalls around the borough and we have found huge concern over the shortage of mental health services. A thousand people have physically signed this petition, which we hope will focus the minds of the authorities. Suitable beds need to be re-opened urgently.”

The petition was presented to the West London NHS Trust, which is responsible for local Mental Health Services and a copy to Ealing Council, which is responsible for scrutinising the services.

Dr Christopher Hilton, psychiatrist and chief operating officer for local services at West London NHS Trust, "We’re grateful to those who have fed back in the engagement process so far.

“We’re especially keen to hear from individuals or their loved ones, who have used the services in recent years.

“The inpatient facilities for adult mental health services are no longer fit for purpose for the delivery of modern mental healthcare.

“They were suspended in 2020 at the start of the pandemic and as a clinician I’d be concerned to reopen them and reverse the other temporary changes that were put into place, such as the opening of alternative modern facilities at Lakeside, in Hounslow.

"Despite pressures on the NHS, there is no expectation around cost savings from our proposed changes – as all of the money is ring-fenced for local reinvestment and our focus is primarily on ensuring that the inpatient facilities we do run are safe and of high quality”.

The Trust is consulting on the changes and has extended the deadline for feedback, until 28 February 2023.

You can find out further details on the Trust’s website, where you can also find a link to a survey or email

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