Suffolk’s first eating disorder treatment centre could be created in Rougham

People with mental ill health can suffer stigma and discrimination

People with mental ill health can suffer stigma and discrimination - Credit: Archant

A clinical psychologist wants to create the county’s first specialist treatment centre to help people with eating disorders in Rougham.

A plan by Chris McKenna, of the Chimneys Healthcare Partnership, is asking St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s permission to change six-bedroom home The Chimneys, in New Road, into a residential home, providing care for up to 12 people.

“The nearest equivalent facility is in Norwich, and there is no specialist provision in Suffolk,” states the planning application. “The applicant is a clinical psychologist, with expertise in the design and provision of this type of specialist residential care.”

“It is far away from other properties and provides a quiet, secluded location that is ideally suited for the proposed use as a specialist residential eating orders facility,” says the application. The centre would allow patients to stay for between three and six months.

The farm track would provide the main access route to the centre, with eight staff on site during the day and four or five during the night.

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The application was also amended after the Commission on Acute Adult Psychiatric Care – set up by the Royal College of Psychiatrists – published a report entitled Old Problems, New Solutions on February 9.

The report calls for faster access to acute care and an end to sending severely-ill mental health patients long distances for treatment.

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Writing to St Edmundsbury’s planning department, planning agent Tom Stebbing said on behalf of Mr McKenna: “As mentioned in our application, there is currently no specialist eating disorder care provision in Suffolk, and the nearest facility to Bury is in Norwich.”

He added the recent report was “so relevant” they had updated all the documentation to application DC/16/0093/FUL to take it into account.

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