Bromley and Bexley patients 'stranded' as employment company stops taking referrals
PUBLISHED: 11:16 17 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:42 17 May 2017
Social Enterprise Employment Company has been taken over by Twining Enterprise who have reduced services to improve Lewisham and Greenwich
An employment company which finds paid work for people with mental, and physical health conditions, and learning disabilities has been slammed as “appalling” by Bromley’s Labour leader, after deciding to stop taking referrals from Bromley and Bexley residents.
Social Enterprise Employment Company (SEEC), which was set up by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust in 2012, is being taken over by Twining Enterprise, who also find paid work for people with mental illnesses, and as a result, it is reducing the bureaucracy in a bid to “enable more efficient delivery” of services provided in Lewisham and Greenwich.
Bromley Labour leader Angela Wilkins, said: “It is absolutely appalling that the people of Bromley are being stranded, it is completely wrong, and they deserve better.
“They should not, and cannot be abandoned like this. I will definitely be taking this up with Bromley council in the hope that something can be done to help, and ease the struggle for the people worst affected by this.
“This will no doubt, also cause strain to the other services who will have to take an overload of referrals.”
However, Ben Travis, chief executive of Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have taken this decision, knowing that there are a range of alternative supports to help patients and carers return to employment and our clinicians will continue to support patients wishing to return to work.”
SEEC’s work will now come under the Twining Enterprise umbrella.
Services in Bromley and Bexley are no longer taking referrals but the NHS foundation trust state it is hoped that new services will begin in the coming months.
Bob Kitchen, CEO of Twining Enterprise, said: “We are delighted to welcome the team at SEEC into the Twining Enterprise family and really pleased that we can continue to provide our vital services to people in Greenwich and Lewisham.”
Bromley and Bexley residents are now encouraged to contact Bromley and Lewisham Mind on 020 8289 5020, or Bexley Re-Instate Employment Service, instead.