Protestors pacified

PUBLISHED: 07:03 18 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:18 24 May 2010

FEARS about a psychiatric hospital being opened in Kewstoke have been calmed after residents visited a similar centre in Bradford. Villagers spoke out when Cygnet Health Care announced it was opening a 57-bed low security hospital at the former convalesce

FEARS about a psychiatric hospital being opened in Kewstoke have been calmed after residents visited a similar centre in Bradford.Villagers spoke out when Cygnet Health Care announced it was opening a 57-bed low security hospital at the former convalescent home in Beach Road.Parish council chairman Tony Morris and a small group of residents were given the opportunity to visit another Cygnet-owned hospital in Bradford to see how it is run.Cllr Morris said: "It was a purpose-built hospital in the heart of a residential area and we were all impressed with how it operates. After seeing the level of security we are much more at ease with the development in Kewstoke."There were no large wire fences, the security was contained within the building."Nobody could go through the rooms without assistance from the staff. The entrance to each ward was like an air lock with two sets of doors which only open when one has been shut."Everything is bolted down so nothing is loose, so it is virtually impossible for the patients to harm themselves or anyone else."We also met a district councillor who said residents were up in arms at the start but he has had no complaints since it opened."Kewstoke Hospital is expected to open in September. There will be an open day before it opens when residents will be shown round the site.

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