Thursday, 30 April 2015

An uncertain future for dementia care in East Devon

There have been several efforts to make places more 'dementia friendly':
Push for Honiton to be a ‘dementia friendly’ town - News - Midweek Herald
Dementia training boost for Fields staff - News - Sidmouth Herald
Sidmouth students to become ‘Dementia Friends’ - Education - Sidmouth Herald

See also:
Futures Forum: A more dementia-friendly Devon
Futures Forum: "Making our communities more dementia aware"

At this week's parliamentary hustings in Sidmouth, the issue of health care for the elderly was brought up:
Futures Forum: Election hustings in Sidmouth - a roundup

There are concerns that facilities in the District are going to close:
Probable closure for Green Close - News - Sidmouth Herald

This is from an extensive piece looking into care homes from the Express & Echo:

INVESTIGATION: "Two tier" residential care system has led to "crisis situation" say East Devon social care experts

By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: April 11, 2015 By Fran McElhone

Arthur Roberts in Exeter and Green Close in Sidmouth were among the first homes to close and Davey Court in Exmouth, which specialises in dementia care, is set to close this year. Other homes in the Exeter area which have also closed are Alphin House and Whipton Barton in Exeter, Daw Vale, Dawlish, Orcahrd Lea, Cullompton and St Lawrence, Crediton.

At the time, former Davey Court manager Christine Cheshire warned that in addition to there being a shortage of beds available at other care homes in the town, the majority of other homes only take residents with mild to moderate dementia so residents could struggle to find an equivalent level of care increasing the likelihood of people having to move out of the area making it harder for their families to visit them.

Elsewhere in Exmouth and East Devon, over the last 18 months, Magnolia House residential care home and Park House Residential Home, which both provided for people with dementia, closed, and Moreton Care Home announced its closure in February. Each home had room for 25 – 30 residents.

In addition, due to the national shortage of qualified nurses, Cranford Nursing Home announced last month that it is to change from being a nursing home to a residential home meaning eight out of 26 residents have to find alternative accommodation. Around 30 residents of Angela Court Nursing and Residential Home at Tipton St John, were relocated following safe-guarding concerns and substantial refurbishments to address them. However, Rose Lodge Care Home in Exmouth, which cares for people with dementia, is adding nine beds in a self-contained community, increasing its capacity to 33...

The manager of another Exmouth care home, who also asked for his identity to be protected, said that the cost of providing a bed and associated care is around 50 per cent higher than council funding. He said that home owners have to secure a certain level of profit to maintain quality, make running a home a viable business, and for the banks to continue to lend for improvements. “We already have a two-tier system especially in dementia care that’s been building up over the last five years,” he said. “And the gap is widening between what social services funding and the cost of care. You lose money by having only social services funded residents – so how do you make up for it? Providing rubbish care. There are some homes that are basically warehouses keeping people alive.” ...

The care home owner also criticised the recent trend for large scale, 60-bed care homes where, he said, there is a risk of losing inter-resident and resident-carer relationships and individualised care. “Successful dementia care is about maintaining relationships,” he continued. “These large scale homes do have separate floors, but where the model can break down is when the residents come into the dining room when they suddenly find themselves with people they don’t know and in a bewildering situation.

“It would be easy to blame social services but this is a society thing,” he added. “I’m amazed that more families don’t kick up a stink about the quality in some homes. I’ve walked around homes where the care has been atrocious. We’re in a society where we need to look after people and until we do, it’s only going to get worse.”

Meanwhile, new provision is being made - although, at what expense:

And this week, the Sidmouth Victoria Hospital has launched plans for more provision:

Appeal launched for £400k dementia unit

06:30 27 April 2015 Stephen Sumner stephen.sumner@archant.co.uk

Sidmouth Victoria Hospital Ref shs 3264-50-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton.

Tireless fundraisers this week launched a bid to create a £400,000 dementia centre at Sidmouth Victoria Hospital.

The new project has been announced just months after the health hub’s comforts fund celebrated the completion of a total refurbishment - which saw the community raise millions over 25 years. Residents are now being asked to dig deep once again so a unit can be built in a roof void at the hospital.

The Sid Valley alone has more than 500 known cases of dementia, placing it at the ‘vanguard’ of Britain’s future health needs.

Sidmouth Victoria Hospital Comforts Fund chairman, Graham Vincent, told its annual general meeting: “Just because we’ve finished our massive upgrade doesn’t mean we can sit back – oh no – we must have a challenge, and what better challenge can we have in today’s world than dementia?

“Everyone knows of someone who suffers from this disease. If – or I would like to say, when – we get consent from the [North Devon Healthcare] trust it will be a massive undertaking, but something that is so needed. We’ve got that roof void there. We have to use it. We can’t just sit back and put our feet up.”

The fifth and final phase of the hospital’s £4.5million refurbishment project was completed last year, safeguarding it for the 21st century. Apart from some professional fees, all of the money came from local residents to give Sidmouth ‘one of the best community hospitals in the country’.

But Mr Vincent said comforts fund trustees felt guilty there was an empty space going unused so, hot on the heels of their last project, they set to work on their next challenge. They will need to raise some £400,000 to fund a lift and a staircase into the roof void, as well as windows, doors, utilities and finishes.

Trustees have already discussed the plans with the Sid Valley Memory Café and other interested parties, and a business case is being compiled for the North Devon Healthcare Trust, which owns the hospital. Once it has given the go-ahead, the comforts fund will finance a feasibility study.

Angela Pedder OBE, the chief executive of the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Trust, said the town’s age profile is where the rest of the country will be in 2075. “You are our vanguard,” she told the meeting. “We have to find a model of service that works locally. I see this as what a vibrant health future looks like.”

Appeal launched for £400k dementia unit - News - Sidmouth Herald

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