"Disappointed at the closure of Denbridge House"

About: South London And Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust / Eating disorders

(as the patient),

I have been suffering with an eating disorder for years now and spent a long period of my life in hospital. This has never worked for me, all I have ever done is been forced to gain wait then relapsed very quickly.

Six months ago I was given funding to come to Denbridge House, to try a different approach. In this setting, I still struggle daily with my disorder but the care and support that I recieve has enabled me to make a few small changes. Being at Denbridge has been the longest time that I have avoided in-patient care. I value this service so much. It has given me one thing that I had given up ever believing I could have again. That is hope. Hope that perhaps I will not always feel this way.

Now this service is being closed down due to government cuts. They are taking away this invaluable service, and it seems to me that it is just to save some money. There is no doubt in my mind that although it is a slow process, Denbridge actually works. Now we are being forced to leave what we have come to rely on. This just doesn't seem fair? Are we as human beings not entitled to the care/treatment that we so desperately need?

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Response from Su Glazier, Head of Improvement, Innovations and Involvement, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Dear Tina-Eileen,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share with us your concerns about the decision to close Denbridge House and replace it with another rehabilitation and treatment facility,for people with eating disorders (a few miles away). This is obviously a very difficult and sad time for you as you express that you have found Denbridge House particularly important and helpful in keeping you out of hospital. Your story has been passed to the service concerned and they will make a fuller response to you very shortly. I understand that robust alertnative care arrangements will be in place for you and the other residents before you leave Denbridge House.

My best wishes for the future,


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Response from Steve Davidson, Service Director, Mood, Anxiety and Personality Clinical Academic Group and Psychological Medicine Clinical Academic Group, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Dear Tina - Eileen,

Thank you for raising your concerns about the closure of Denbridge House and for sharing your experiences with us. I am really pleased that you have benefited from your time in this service.

I understand your concerns and thought an explanation of our reasons for closing Denbridge House might help to reassure you that we have come to this decision for the best of reasons. I also think it is important that you know about our plans to replace the service with a new rehabilitation treatment service in Beckenham.

As I am sure you know, without effective early treatment for anorexia nervosa, such as the work with families developed at the Maudsley Hospital, a proportion of people go on to develop a severe and enduring illness. This group of people and their families can become isolated and excluded from a productive role in society with a high level of medical disability and use of services.

For this reason we are opening a new service that will see patients and families requiring rehabilitation ‘stepped down’ gradually so they spend fewer days in care and are better able to live independently, build strong relationships and play an active role in society. This approach to the treatment of anorexia nervosa has been shown to be very effective and has been developed using the best available evidence. The service has also been developed by working closely with patients and families with experience of anorexia nervosa and with the charity BEAT.

To fund the new service we have taken the difficult decision to close Denbridge House. Robust alternative arrangements will be in place before the few remaining patients leave Denbridge House and the expertise of the current staff team will be transferred to the new service.

Now more than ever, we have to make the best use of the resources available to us. However, we remain committed to providing treatments that evidence shows work best for our patients.

If you would like to learn more about the treatment model to be used in the new rehabilitation treatment service please please contact Jane Hannon at (jane.hannon@slam.nhs.uk) and Jane will send you more information and you can have further discussion with her if necessary.

Best Wishes

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