07:55AM, Friday 31 January 2014
St Mark's Hospital in Maidenhead still has an important role to play in heathcare provision in Berkshire, according to a key NHS trust figure.
Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's (BHFT) chief operating officer David Townsend has said the hospital, in St Mark's Road, is considered a key strategic location for the services it provides to the wider community.
His comments come in the wake of the controversial move of mental health inpatients from the now-closed Charles Ward to Prospect Park Hospital in Reading earlier this month.
The move, confirmed two years ago, prompted fears for the future of the hospital but Mr Townsend said: "We have no plans to change what we do or not operate from that site, which geographically is very good.
"It's particularly well located to deliver services to the Maidenhead population."
The trust, which manages a number of inpatient and community services from St Mark's, has also begun the process of transferring some treatments from Heatherwood Hospital to the Maidenhead hospital as part of its restructuring of mental health services.
Treatments for eating disorders, complex needs and psychotherapy will be introduced to St Mark's over the coming month, with 20 members of staff making the move from the Ascot-based hospital.
Mr Townsend said £350,000 of trust money was being put into the Maidenhead site, including creating a 'flexible clinical space' which can be used by a variety of services.
He added there were 'no plans' to change the hospital's other inpatient facility, the Henry Tudor Ward, while the future of the space formerly occupied by Charles Ward is still under consideration.
"There is the option to reopen it as a ward to meet a different need but there are other community services we might want to have based from that site," he said.
"We are seeing how we can best use that space."
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