Save Our Local Mental Health Facilities

Save Our Local Mental Health Facilities

7 March 2021
Petition to
East London NHS Foundation Trust and 4 others
Signatures: 122Next Goal: 200
Support now

Why this petition matters

Started by Natashya Becks

Please sign and share this petition to stop our life-saving local mental health services in Luton and Houghton Regis from being shut down. 

The East London NHS Foundation Trust and Central Bedfordshire Council are seriously considering shutting down two of our mental health facilities, Townsend Court and Oakley Court [possibly Calnwood Court also], in Luton and Houghton Regis. Instead, they want to relocate them to Bedford as a single facility. How is this right?

Mental health touches all of us on some level. The closure of our facilities would be a devastating loss for Luton, Houghton Regis and surrounding villages and catastrophic for those of us who deal with mental ill health. As if our services haven't been struggling enough after a decade of austerity and chronic underfunding having left them highly dated, more than ever funds should be used to regenerate them. Why abandon and shut them down instead? It is simply ludicrous. At the very least there should be proposals for new inpatient facilities in Houghton Regis and Luton if the ELFT insist on shutting down these current ones. 

We all have been touched by the devastating epidemic which is mental health battles during the pandemic, with the numbers of us facing the most severe crisis surging. We need mental health support than ever during these awful times, yet our services are facing devastating cuts. 

These our our friends, our family, our community who will be left hanging by a thread. How do the authorities expect those in the most severe crisis in Luton, Houghton Regis and surrounding villages to be able to travel up to Bedford and back? Those of us who live with mental health issues such as PTSD or agoraphobia know all too well that long travel by car or public transport is simply impossible. Not to mention the nightmare of car parking and utter lack of accessibility of Bedford Town itself. This initiative fails to understand or meet the needs of the residents it our community it is supposed to support; we need somewhere local to be able to go for help. How is it right to tear us apart from our loved ones in inpatient care and move them miles away at the time they need us most? 

Accessible, on the doorstep support must be protected. The failure to do so will only isolate residents in our area it seeks to represent, tear families from Houghton Regis and Luton apart and leave those in crisis to suffer in silence with no local support to turn to.  How is it justified to relocate mental health facilities to one community, but remove them from our own? There must be equality. Every mind matters. Every community's wellbeing matters. 

No-one opposes the main objective of the proposal, which is to build a 60 million pounds state-of-the-art mental health facility at Bedford Hospital. However, that does not make it okay to remove mental health facilities from our community. It is unacceptable that during these unprecedented times when demand for life-saving mental health support is surging, our authorities would propose to remove them just to 'balance the books.'  Their approach must be county wide, prioritising ever community, not just one. 

While everyone welcomes the ELFT initiative to build a new facility, this must not be at the expense of our own. Through this petition, our community calls on the ELFT, Central Bedfordshire Council and Overview and Scrutiny Committee to adjust their proposal. Our local services must not be removed. Our facilities at risk desperately need to be properly funded on the same level as this new facility will be, not shut down. This project, while wonderful for Bedford, must only add to, never replace, our life-saving facilities. 

Support now
Signatures: 122Next Goal: 200
Support now


  • Central Bedfordshire Council
  • East London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Andrew Selous MP
  • Central Bedfordshire Overview and Scrutiny Comittee
  • Bedfordshire Luton & Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group