Beds, Herts & Bucks

High Wycombe teen mental health hospital to close

Young girl sitting in the street Image copyright Getty Images

A hospital specialising in caring for young people with learning difficulties and behavioural conditions is to close, NHS England has confirmed.

The 12-bed Priory Hospital unit in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire is currently treating seven patients.

An NHS England spokeswoman said it was "working closely" with families to move the children to new care services.

She did not confirm when the unit would close and the hospital said it had had problems recruiting staff.

The hospital, which has recently been refurbished, looks after young people aged between 13 and 18 years old.

It is part of the Priory Group, which describes itself as "the largest provider of child and adolescent inpatient services to the NHS".

The spokeswoman said: "The safety and treatment of the seven young people at the hospital is the number one priority.

"Following discussions with NHS England, Buckinghamshire Local Authority and the Care Quality Commission, the Priory Group has decided to close the service at High Wycombe and working closely with the families, the patients will be moved to new care services that better meet their needs."

The Care Quality Commission confirmed it had recently inspected the unit and it would publish its report in the next few weeks.

A spokesman for the hospital said: "Despite sustained efforts to recruit experienced staff and drive improvements, we have decided it is in the best interests of the young people in our care to close the service and support the NHS in identifying suitable alternative placements."

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