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Unique dementia ward to close without public consultation

Questions have been raised about why a public consultation into the closure of a “completely unique” dementia ward at Tolworth Hospital had not gone ahead.

The Fuchsias ward is run by South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust and cared for severe dementia sufferers. Its staff were praised by Care Quality Commission inspectors for their approach to patients.

Referrals to the ward stopped in 2008 and the last patient died just before Christmas 2015, after 12 years there. In 2013, when the ward had six patients, a public consultation into the closure was delayed by Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) leaders. Almost three years later no public consultation has been planned.

The ward cost £1.46m a year to run when six patients were based there. CCG governing body chairman Dr Naz Jivani promised to respond in writing before the body's next meeting.

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