SOLIHULL health commissioners and hospital chiefs have announced joint plans to create a new hospital service for people with dementia in the wake of the ward 10 closure furore.
The new plans, being developed in partnership between Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, will ‘redesign and enhance existing services to provide specialist hospital care while also developing community-based care for people with dementia.’
The existing dementia ward – Ward 10 in Solihull hospital – will remain in operation until the end of October to allow plans for a new acute geriatric ward to be developed and implemented during the summer.
It is anticipated the new ward will be able to care for more people than Ward 10 currently looks after.
Alongside the hospital-based plans, the CCG will commission specialist dementia care in the community to enable people with dementia to continue their recovery once they are medically fit to leave hospital but not yet independent enough to cope at home.
Dr Patrick Brooke, Chief Officer for Solihull CCG said: “Frailty and dementia are increasing health issues that we are addressing in Solihull through our recently launched Dementia Strategy.
“Strong partnership with the Heart of England Trust means that we can design a service that will improve care for people with dementia both in the community and in hospital enabling people to live better more independent lives at home.”
Solihull CCG will commission new intermediate care for people with dementia in the community to replace ward 10 while the Heart of England Foundation Trust will reorganise existing resources to create the new acute geriatric service which will include ward areas with a similar environment to ward 10.
The new plans have been welcomed by campaigners.
Meriden MP Caroline Spelman said: “The local community worked hard to try and prevent Ward 10 from closing so I’m pleased we are to get a new service provided by a team who are trained in the care of elderly patients.”
“This service will be crucial to Solihull because of the higher than average over-65 population.”
Solihull MP Lorely Burt added: “I am very pleased that Solihull Hospital has committed to maintaining specialist dementia care and I welcome the fact that Ward 10 has been given another three months to set up the new service.
“However, I am concerned that this will not be enough time so I am calling on Solihull Hospital to maintain Ward 10 in its current form for as long as it takes to get a new service up and running which is just as good if not better.”