AN NHS trust has defended its decision to bring mental health services to Prudhoe.

Residents of the town’s Humbles Wood estate have raised concerns over the risk to the public following the proposed relocation of medium secure mental health facilities and patients to the nearby Ferndene Hospital.

A planning application was submitted last week for enhancements needed to upgrade the facility.

James Duncan, deputy chief executive of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust said the feedback from residents, the town council and the county council had been carefully considered.

He said: “These changes are designed to support improvements in patient pathways and to help our staff provide the best possible quality of care.

“The trust has extensive experience of providing these services for young vulnerable people within the heart of our local communities.

“It is the aim of this programme to help reduce the lengths of stay for children and young people at Ferndene and to help them get back to living a normal and fruitful life as soon as they can.

“There are very few proposed changes to the front of the building and if the application is successful, disruption to our neighbours during construction will be minimised as much as possible.”