Friends of the Burrswood Hospital near Tunbridge Wells in Kent have put out a statement this week saying that it is “business as usual” for its in-patient services – despite an announcement by the hospital's trustees that the services will close at the end of 2016. Some of the beds have been used by people with severe ME/CFS.
Hannah Clifton, founder and trustee of The ME Trust which was set up to support Burrswood, wrote yesterday:
As a long-term supporter of Burrswood, the ME Trust has been in touch with Burrswood’s CEO to confirm the position with regard to in-patient services; in the light of the recent announcements and correspondence concerning proposals for Burrswood to cease offering in-patient services from the end of 2016.
The ME Trust has been assured that in-patient services are currently being provided during 2016 as they have been in the past and that it is ‘business as usual’. Anyone interested in accessing Burrswood’s ME/CFS services should therefore continue to contact the Admissions Department at Burrswood, or the ME Trust. We will provide further updates as new information becomes available.
The ME Trust very much hopes to continue to work with Burrswood, and others, in an effort to ensure that this important and pioneering service can continue and flourish.
In a letter sent to patients and former patients, chairman of the Burrswood trustees Richard Diggory wrote that unremitting financial pressures have resulted in a proposal to cease providing in-patient care by the end of 2016.
“The date that we will be stopping these services has yet to be agreed, so until then please do continue to book in as normal”.
The plan, wrote Mr Diggory, is to convert the in-patient facilities into accessible retreat and guest accommodation and to focus future efforts on health and wellbeing services including outpatient physiotherapy, counselling and hydrotherapy – all alongside Burrwood's healing Christian ministry.
Mr Diggory's letter has not been placed on the Burrswood website.