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Henderson Hospital in Surrey to close

It has emerged today that the Henderson Hospital in Surrey, which treats people with personality disorders, is to close, according to the BBC.Doctors are saying the unit was closed because of changes to government funding and the local health trust says it could no longer afford to subsidise the unit at the expense of other health services. Apparently national funding for the unit ran out last year and had to be picked up by the local trust.

The story says the unit has not been full over the past year but it seems surprising given that the government is supposed to be treating personality disorder services as a priority and had launched a National Personality Disorder Programme.

Simeon Brody

About Simeon Brody

Community Care managing web editor

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6 Responses to Henderson Hospital in Surrey to close

  1. Veritee 11 April , 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    I was a patient of the Henderson Hospital over 30 years ago (1976)

    At the time I certainly felt that it had saved my life. And I went from troubled young woman, who probably would have cost the state ( NHS, Police, social services) uncalculated thousands, to become a productive member of society. I am now in my 50s. On leaving the Henderson I trained as a teacher and youth worker, worked as such for over 25 years and assisted countless young people myself. I have stable relationships, have been married for over 20 years with a grown daughter.
    It did not come without personal cost but nothing does. And there are ongoing issues arising from having being part of such a radical treatment system. I did and do feel stigmatised and labelled by being classed as someone with a personality disorder at what was a young age. (I am not sure now I ever did have a personality disorder, but I was a very mixed up young woman with a chaotic life I could not get under control and DID need residential help to do so) But the labelling may have happened anyway, had I continued to behave as I was. But on the whole the stay proved to be positive for my future life

    As well as being a teacher and professional youth worker for over 25 years I founded and now run a charity for women with PNI. I now am not sure it actually saved my life, but I do know that my stay there enabled me not to be a burden, financially or any other way on society from the moment I left, but to lead a life whereby I have not cost society anything more than the average person in terms of health care etc, but also put much back in terms of my work and time.

    If it facilitates this for just one person a year it has to be worth funding in terms of cost and other factors to society

    My treatment at the Henderson not only saved thousands in terms of my own potential future care it also benefitted my immediate and extended family directly i.e. who also may have needed ongoing state support had I continued as I was.
    I was also able to use the skills gained at the Henderson to train and work productively and to support my family (parents) as any daughter would but would never have been able to, had I not been to the Henderson.

    As an ex patient I have never been contacted by anyone or asked what it did for me!

    Before it is decided this invaluable service is just is not worth the money and is closed perhaps the funders and the Gov and the NHS need to come and ask us directly – those who it has benefitted – what it actually did for us – the ex-patients – in terms of benefit to society and us not costing what it may have to support us and our families

  2. Karl Adaway 11 April , 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    What an absolute disgrace and a disgrace that looks hell bent on closing the Henderson, some how I get the feeling this closer is more about the prime land The Henderson sits on. It’s time these bureaucrats stopped fussing about and work out just who should fund the Henderson’s future.

    I was at the Henderson in 1990 and it will always hold a very special place in my heart and mind. The Henderson gave others and me a last chance at having a life without the help of some appalling psychiatric hospitals, both locally and nationally. I believe and I’m sure many other “Ex Residence” feel the same way, the Henderson Hospital not only saved my life, it also reshaped it.

    The quality life skills that residents learn at The Henderson as a part of day to day living, would be impossible to learn in any other environment. Perhaps if the treatment was helping the so called “hoodies” it might be higher on the national agenda.

    With most psychiatric services being poor at best, closing The Henderson will be like losing the head from a psychiatric body.

    I would suggest people that read my comments about the prime location, take a good look at Google Earth and see what you thinks this closer is about then,

    The Henderson postcode is SM2 5LT

    There is an on line petition to save The Henderson Hospital, please copy the link below and leave your mark.

    http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Savethehendo/

    Close The Henderson THINK AGAIN…

  3. Lynda thompson 11 April , 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    I would just like to say that i was a patient at the Henderson Hospital in Aug.04 to Aug 05. There is no place like the Henderson, a totally unique placed, like no other. Like most people who went in there, life before was painful, hard to live, and used a multiple of coping machanisms to get though each day. These incl. self harming, drug abuse, violence on to myself and violence from myself to others. No amount of antipsytropic drugs or tranqulizers or stays in psychiatric units made any difference at all. When wanting to change the way you live, you just don’t seem to find the intense help that will help get you on the right track. On being referred to the Henderson Hospital and being selected, i was terrified and didnt know what was in store or whether it would help someone like myself who had been classed as a no hoper in the past. It is a hard slog and takes a lot of determination to want to stay and to want to change your life from what it was. There were times in the Henderson that it was too much but there were other residents and staff who would want you and help you to find it in yourself to stay. Month after month I began to see a different me. A new me and with no antipsytropic medication, the were a me that i began to like. It wasn’t just my doing but those around me, the staff and residents who helped and guided me to be the me that i liked. Instead of abusing myself with whatever i could shove in my mouth or hurt myself with i gained so many skills to use instead of the ones which were so common in the life i had before the Henderson.

    People selected to be a resident at the Henderson don’t at the time realise the is the way forward to a new life. What a mind blowing experience being in the Henderson was. Quite surreal at times in the Henderson bubble with many highs and lows but the longer you are there the more the highs and lows being to even out. I can’t say i came out of the Henderson Hospital a ‘perfect human being’ but I thank it for the new life it gave me. Instead of dragging myself through each day, I wake up grateful for the chance that I was given and so very honoured to have had the privelege of being a resident and such a wonderful inspiring place. My childred are proud of what I achieved there and i know they are grateful to have there mum back. Henderson is a place that you only get out what you put in there. Some incredible people have achieved what seemed to be the unachievable in there and some are still good friends of mine. The services you receive in the Henderson are immeasurable. You couldnt possibly receive the care, therapy, and skills and immense pride in the outside world that you received in the Henderson. To close this hospital would be a crime. I wouldnt be the person i am today if i had not been a Henderson resident. I truly am grateful

  4. Simeon
    Simeon 11 April , 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    Thanks for your comments – they are much appreciated and give real insight into the reality of this decision.

  5. Veritee 11 April , 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    Just to say there is a forum for Henderson ex residents and staff and current residents are very welcome
    http://savethehenderson.forumotion.com/index.htm

  6. Karl Adaway 11 April , 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    The Residents at The Henderson are now looking to make a legal challenge against the planned closure. You can read about this by clicking the link below.

    http://www.leighday.co.uk/doc.asp?cat=844&doc=1256

    The matter is also up for debate at 4.30pm on the 16th of Jan 2008 in The Houses of Parliament.

    Questions are being asked about the plan to close The Henderson Hospital but as yet, Secretary of State for Health office have provided little more than spin.

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2008-01-10a.176859.h

    We now have a forum up and running. The idea of the forum is to help Ex-residents and Ex/current staff to share their experiences of The Henderson and also brainstorm any ideas. There is a far amount of content on the site, which could give some insight to people wishing to know a lot more about what The Henderson does and the role it has in Mental Health today.

    No account is needed for most parts of the Forum, for those that seek anonymity.

    http://savethehenderson.forumotion.com/index.htm

    We will be doing our very best over the coming weeks to push The Henderson’s case up to the top of the media agenda (Where it should be) also doing our utmost to champion the cause the very private and very precious commodity we know as The Hendo