THE demolition of the fire damages West Wing at the George Bryan Centre in Mile Oak is set to begin this week.
We reported in April that the final two patients from the centre had been safely moved and that the wite was being made secure.
Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust (MPFT) who operate the George Bryan Centre has now told Tamworth Informed that the contractor has been secured and it is understood that they will start on site on Monday, 24 June.
We have been told that they will have to do some enabling works before they start the demolition and we are expecting them to be on site until 8 July.
A spokesperson for MPFT has also told us in April: “The demolition does not mean any decisions have been made about the future of the site and a public engagement exercise will be taking place.”
They have now updated us to say: “The engagement planning group has had its first meeting and we will be sharing our plans with the Lichfield scrutiny committee next Wednesday (26 June) and will be before the Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee on 15 July.”
It is understood that staff have been re-deployed into roles within the trust.
The move means that Tamworth Residents requiring in-patient Mental Health support will need to attend St Georges in Stafford.
It also means that people from Tamworth visiting friends or relatives will face a 60-mile round trip.
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Earlier in the year, Christopher Pincher MP told Tamworth Informed: “When the George Bryan Centre was struck by that terrible suspected arson attack, the Government and Department for Health and Social Care were quick to offer their help and support. Thankfully there were no lives lost and the NHS Trust did not require Government help.
“The NHS Trust has decided to close the centre temporarily, with the 12 remaining patients transferred to Stafford. I have written to both the Trust and to the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock MP to ensure that this closure is not just temporary but is also swift. I will, of course, update readers when I receive a reply.
“The George Bryan Centre is a focal point of mental health provision in Tamworth and South Staffordshire and to lose the service to Stafford would bad for the people of Tamworth.”
A petition has been launched to raise awareness of this issue and to ask MPFT to re-think the idea. This can be viewed and signed here.