Former hotel to become mental care home

A FORMER Ely hotel could soon be converted into a “move-on” home for people recovering from mental health problems.

Under plans, expected to be approved on Wednesday afternoon, The Castle Lodge Hotel on New Barnes Road, could soon provide accommodation for up to 12 residents being supported and helped back into society after treatment for mental illness.

The City of Ely Council recommended the application be refused because, it said, of a “lack of information and clarity of details” about the residents who would be housed in the facility and the potential impact on neighbouring properties.

In correspondence with council planners Margaret Clark, said: “I have spent my whole working career in the NHS and private practice as a ward sister and manager, a health visitor and a psychotherapist, only retiring in December.

“This means that I have a high level of awareness of some of the problems of people with physical and mental disabilities and am aware that their behaviour can be unpredictable and their physical needs can change rapidly.

“This leaves me with huge concerns as to how it can be that residents will need care during the daytime, but apparently not at night.”

Also in correspondence with council planners, Donald Monk, said: “They were not able to give all of us present any clear idea of the magnitude from which their residents would be suffering.

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“Surely, under the Mental Health Act definition, it is possible to categorise the general class of disabilities form which it is hoped to effect recovery at this proposed home. We were told that they would not be recovering alcoholics or drug users but were no more specific than that.”

According to the applicant, Carol Morgan, the minimum requirement is that the home will be staffed from 7am-9pm after which the staff will be on call. She said however, that if an assessment showed that staff were needed overnight then arrangements would be made.

She also responded to concerns regarding the home’s catchment area and said the majority of residents would come from within the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Trust’s boundaries.