Village 'misled' over patients

RESIDENTS living near a psychiatric hospital are being told they should not be worried about patients going out alone into the community. At last week's Kewstoke Parish Council meeting several villagers turned up to raise concerns about residents at Cygne

RESIDENTS living near a psychiatric hospital are being told they should not be worried about patients going out alone into the community.At last week's Kewstoke Parish Council meeting several villagers turned up to raise concerns about residents at Cygnet Hospital Kewstoke going out unaccompanied.They also said they felt they had been misled about the issue at meetings that took place before the hospital opened last year.But Cygnet Healthcare managing director, Nicky Mcleod, says people should not be concerned about the 'calibre' of patients staying at the former Birmingham Hospital Saturday Fund (BHSF) building in Beach Road.Nicky said: "I cannot say there is no risk but there is low risk."We had a very successful liaison meeting last month and consideration was given to any concerns and we dealt with it at the time."Beat officer for Kewstoke, PC Terry Stevens, said he would be looking into residents' concerns. He said he was led to believe at a meeting with hospital bosses last year that patients would always be accompanied when they went into the village.Following the meeting on Monday, Mark Templeman, who lives in Kewstoke Road, said: "We were assured at a public meeting in 2006 that patients would always be accompanied around the village. "I believe we have been misled, not only to the type of patients being treated, but also because of the reassurances that we were given that our community would not in any way be affected by the hospital and its patients. "How comfortable will tourists feel knowing there is the possibility they could encounter patients with drug problems and 'challenging or offending behaviour?


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