A LONG-TERM solution to the controversial closure of Solihull Hospital’s Ward 10 dementia unit has been announced.
Plans to axe Ward 10 sparked outrage and calls for action from hospital users, families and the borough’s key political figures when they were first leaked.
But a new ‘care pathway’ has been agreed by the NHS and Solihull Council to place Ward 10 patients at the nearby Bupa Arden Lea Grove Nursing Home.
The new facility will enable dementia patients who would have accessed the beds on ward 10 at Solihull Hospital to be provided with ‘more appropriate care away from the acute setting’.
There will be eight interim, ‘discharge to assess’ beds and there will be a six-month pilot proof of concept to assess the success of the project.
The project team, consisting of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) which runs Solihull Hospital, Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC), Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) and a patient experience representative had been working together for several months to develop the most appropriate plan to help better meet dementia patients’ needs.
In a statement released this week the partners claim research has shown that an acute setting – such as the Hospital – is not the best place to make decisions about the future long term care of dementia patients and that the new facility will provide an environment where specialist carers can focus on assessment, rehabilitation and re-enablement.
They add that the new type of care offered at Arden Lea Grove would help patients achieve a higher level of independence and mean they are less likely to be re-admitted to community or acute beds or require permanent nursing home accommodation.
Dr Mark Newbold, HEFT Chief Executive, said: “Patients from Solihull Hospital who would traditionally transfer to ward 10 are typically frail elderly patients with moderate to severe dementia who are no longer suffering with an acute illness – and we know that the hospital environment is not the best place for these individuals to be.
“Arden Lea Grove is purpose-built to offer a range of care based on individual residents’ needs and those transferred to the home will be supported to take control of their own care as far as possible, improving their level of independence and well-being in readiness for discharge home or to another appropriate place of care.”
Admission of patients to the Arden Lea Grove Nursing Home will be phased in throughout the rest of the month and ward 10 in Solihull Hospital is due for closure in its current format at the end of October.