NHS Lanarkshire says better care will be provided in a ward at Wishaw General Hospital when the transfer from Airbles Road Centre takes place early this summer.
Currently the centre’s Colville assessment ward has 16 beds for older people with mild memory problems and other issues such as depression and schizophrenia.
Dr Adam Daly, clinical director of old age psychiatry, said the transfer follows a review carried out over the last three years.
This concluded that wards like Colville should be situated in existing hospitals.
Dr Daly said: “This allows better access to on-site specialist care, quicker assessment and better outcomes for patients.
“Our aim is to ensure the transition to the new arrangements is as smooth as possible for patients and their families.
“These changes will allow patients to receive the best possible care in the most appropriate environment. This will be supported by continued investment in locally-based community mental health teams, ensuring that we can also provide better care for older people in their own homes.”
Dr Daly stressed that Airbles Road Centre is not closing and the space created by closing the ward will allow new services to be provided there.
However, one visitor to the centre questioned the move, saying: “A lot of money has been spent there. It’s a homely place and patients are happy. They can spend time in the lovely sensory garden.
“I don’t think these people need to be in a general hospital and if I had a relative or friend at Airbles Road Centre I would be upset at the move.
“Wishaw General is bursting at the seams and you can’t get a space in the car park. I don’t understand it.”
Motherwell councillor Kaye Harmon, who lives near the centre, is also saddened by the closure. She said: “For all the medical opinion that the move is good for patient care, Airbles Road Centre is a special place and I believe we’ll lose the community feel that’s involved.”
MSP John Pentland added: “I’m sure Wishaw will offer patients good, purpose-designed facilities with high-quality care, but I recognise that relocation can be difficult, so if anyone has concerns, they should get in touch and I will be happy to raise them.”