The news that a Redruth metal health unit will not reopen until at least November has been called a "dire consequence" of NHS privatisation by West Cornwall MP Andrew George.

Mr George, a member of the House of Commons Health Select Committee said: “Here we have yet another example of where the profit motive of private companies conflicts with the patient interests in the NHS.

“Longreach was developed under a private finance initiative supported by the then Labour Government in 2003. The prolonged closure is but further evidence that we should never put profit before patient interests.

“I will urge Government Ministers to learn from this kind of case, so that we never again engage in the expensive folly of PFI projects for core public services.

“Meanwhile, many severely mentally ill will be forced to travel hundreds of miles away from their family and friends who would otherwise be able to visit them if they had been offered an inpatient bed at Longreach.”

The mental health unit was closed in May after it was found there was no fireproofing in its roof space. The reduction in beds means 44 patients are currently being treated outside of Cornwall.