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Vital Swaffham mental health service reopens after six months of lockdown




The Swaffham and District Mental Health Association Day Care service, situated at the Merle Boddy Centre , has restored services to their clients after six months of closure this week.

Whilst restriction for space reduces capacity, the new equipment and layout ensures the necessary distancing and mobility for the residents can be safely delivered.

Before entering the centre , clients are temperature checked and a basic health questionnaire is compiled for each visitor daily.

Manager Georgie Bell welcomes the first returning client to Merle Boddy Centre. Pictures: Ian Pilcher
Manager Georgie Bell welcomes the first returning client to Merle Boddy Centre. Pictures: Ian Pilcher

The Centre, which resumed services on Monday, September 21, is closed to all but the clients and the care personnel.

Relatives must leave their loved ones at the door on arrival and again can only collect at the door at the end of each day.

Initially, just a few clients can attend each day and are situated in separate ‘bubbles’, where each individual has their own table for their activity programmes and their own meals service.

One of the 'bubbles', set up within the Merle Boddy centre in Swaffham, with individual tables for clients. Pictures: Ian Pilcher
One of the 'bubbles', set up within the Merle Boddy centre in Swaffham, with individual tables for clients. Pictures: Ian Pilcher

A spokesman said the county council’s Adult Social Care Department “has been very helpful” with guidance and financial support for the reopening.

He added: “The immediate and positive response to this restored service is echoed harmoniously by their families and other supporters, as shown so encouragingly on local social media.

"Now it remains to be seen how and when this service can expand to enable more clients to return. Hopefully without further restrictions being imposed.

"This rigorous administration and care is obviously for the reassurance of the clients and for the safety of others attending. Not surprisingly considerable cost had been incurred but it is money well spent."

For more information on the services available at the centre visit www.merleboddy.org.uk



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