I recently requested a meeting with the Secretary of State for Health to discuss the future of the George Bryan Centre.
Like many of you, watching the George Bryan Centre suffer the fire was awful. I have spoken a number of times previously about ensuring the Centre can be made safe and that mental health care provision in Tamworth stays the same. At the moment the burnt wing of George Bryan Centre is currently being demolished as the building structure was too badly damaged to allow for refurbishment. A number of residents have contacted me asking if that means the Centre is gone for good. This is not the case, it is a temporary closure and all those patients have been transferred to Stafford.
My goal is that we see our service resume in Tamworth, and not be lost to Stafford. This is why I met with the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock MP, to voice the concerns of residents. The NHS Trust will soon begin a consultation exercise with the public and when this is announced I will keep residents informed. The Secretary of State has assured me that as soon as there is any movement, I will be made aware.
He fully understands my determination to see that Tamworth does not lose out as a result of this fire. Instead, we should use it as an imperative to deliver better mental health care services to our community. I know the George Bryan Centre has been a safe space for both inpatients and outpatients requiring help and support, it is easily accessible for friends and family members to visit and the staff working at the Centre strive to bring quality support to patients in Tamworth and beyond.
I look forward to seeing the consultation progress and I hope that as many local people as possible have their say once it begins.