CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Yours for £7m… a piece of NHS

The Hoo fails to sell at auction after being listed for sale by the Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trus

01 December, 2018 — By Tom Foot

The Hoo

A HAMPSTEAD mansion bequeathed to the NHS has been put up for sale on the private market for £7million.

The grade II-listed Hoo building, in Lyndhurst Gardens, was up for auction at Savills in cen­tral London on Monday – but did not sell.

Hundreds of patients, including those with severe depression and anxiety, have sessions with psychiatrists in the building, which is where “care in the community” psychiatric patients receive medication.

Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust is selling the building to generate income for its “service-user care”. One former patient said: “I had very bad depression and mood swings and it took ages to get a referral. But I found it really very helpful. These facilities are absolutely life-saving. “Loss of mental health funding is the core reason for the sale, but the impact on service users with a diagnosis of psychosis or bipolar disorder will be widely felt.” Savills described the Hoo build­ing as a 11,377sq ft prop­erty in “one of Hamp­stead’s premier roads”.

The property market has been hit hard this autumn by Brexit, with fewer homes put up for sale in the capital as prospective buyers wait for more certainty. Staff based at the Hoo building are moving to a single floor of a former day centre in Daleham Gardens, Belsize, but the health trust insists no jobs will be lost. The day centre’s services were moved to St Pancras.

The health trust’s eventual aim is to move outpatient services out of St Pancras to a new centre near the Whittington.

A trust statement said: “The Hoo is the location for our north Camden-based rehabilitation and recovery teams and other specialist support. While it is a beautiful building, it is old and expensive to run, and hard to access for our service users with a physical disability. It no longer fits the needs of modern mental health services.”

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