Ashfield mental health hospital should be repurposed for good by Wesley Mission

Thursday 07 March 2024

Media release
Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne has today condemned the imminent closure of the Wesley Hospital in Ashfield and called on Wesley Mission to repurpose the facility for the good of the community, not to just sell it off to the highest bidder.

Wesley Mission has decided to close the mental health hospital in April, leaving staff and patients distressed about the imminent shut down of this much-needed, acute mental health care service.

The property was gifted in 1946 by the Waddell family to the Wesley Mission with the intent that the 25-bedroom mansion be turned into a mental health hospital. The Federal and State Governments both contributed funding to extend the building and scope of the service it could offer the community.

As a result, the Wesley Hospital has been providing vital mental health care and drug and alcohol addiction support to the Ashfield community for seventy years.

The decision by Wesley Mission to close the facility was made without any consultation with NSW Health or any attempt to secure financial support for the facility. The hundreds of patients and staff were also given no notice of the decision.

“With mental health beds being is such critically short supply the loss of the hospital in Ashfield will have a devastating impact on the health of vulnerable patients,” Byrne said.

“Wesley Mission were gifted this property and they have a moral obligation to make use of it for the public good, not just flog it off to developers.

“I have today written to Wesley Mission calling on them to delay the closure of the hospital and to engage with staff, patients, and the community about why this decision has been made and how the gap in service will be covered.

“Religious based charities like Wesley have been gifted billions of dollars worth of public land over the decades and that comes with a duty to maintain these assets and deliver a social justice dividend if they are repurposed.”


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Page last updated: 07 Mar 2024