A UTTOXETER home for people with mental health issues could be closed by the end of the year after it was officially revealed funding will DEFINITELY be cut.
Rethink, which is responsible for Bradley Court in Uttoxeter, was told yesterday that it will no longer receive funding through the Supporting People programme, provided by Staffordshire County Council.
As of October 1, Rethink will be left without any financial support, which could mean it could be forced to close Bradley Court for good.
It was revealed last month that the service was under threat but after a meeting last week to discuss the 200 services supported by the programme, it was decided that Rethink will no longer receive the cash help.
Mark Winstanley, chief executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said: “We are deeply concerned that people in Staffordshire with serious mental illness will be left without proper support as October 1 this year.
“Staffordshire County Council say that they plan to invest in preventative mental health services.
“We agree that money should be invested in services that help people from becoming ill in the first place.
“But it is unacceptable to cut off support for people who are already ill and vulnerable without ensuring that all of their needs will be met.
“This is effectively abandoning people in need, and as a charity committed to improving the lives of people with a mental illness, we find this absolutely unacceptable.
“If services like the ones we provide in Staffordshire don’t exist, people with a mental illness are more likely to reach crisis point, which increases costs for the NHS and social care services locally.
“This cut will end up costing the community more in the long run. Both the human and financial costs are significant.”
Leaders across East Staffordshire have been throwing their support behind Bradley Court after resident Natice Duncan launched a campaign to save her home.
Uttoxeter MP Andrew Griffiths said he has already written to the heads of Staffordshire County Council in a bid to make them change their mind.
Mr Griffiths said: “Bradley Court offers an important service to protect people in Uttoxeter and the issue of mental health is a hugely important one.
“Mental health illness can hit any family, no matter if they are rich or poor, educated or not, and the effect having a service like the one offered by Bradley Court is very important.
“I understand the county council needs to make cuts to balance the books and it has a strong record of saving money while protecting services.
“However, I am urging them to look again at the decision over Bradley Court and consider how else they can make the saving in order to protect an important service.
“I have written to the chief executive Nick Bell and leader Philip Atkins (of Staffordshire County Council) and I think it is blatant across the board that it is risking losing a service that is hugely valuable.”
So far the battle to save Bradley Court has been backed by East Staffordshire mayor Ron Clarke, political aid Alastair Campbell, mental health campaigner Dr Matt Long and Labour parliamentary candidate Jon Wheale.