WARD WILL STAY SHUT ‘On­go­ing con­ver­sa­tion’ about Cri­eff unit

Strathearn Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Paul Cargill

A ward at Cri­eff Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal which was ded­i­cated to tak­ing care of peo­ple with de­men­tia will stay shut as a health board con­tin­ues to look at im­ple­ment­ing re­form across the re­gion.

The board re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing the in­te­gra­tion of health and so­cial care in the re­gion has de­cided Cri­eff Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal’s ward one, which has been in what NHS Tay­side calls “non­op­er­a­tional sta­tus” since Jan­uary due to a de­creas­ing num­ber of in­pa­tients be­ing treated there, should stay shut.

It has fur­ther de­cided the staff who for­merly worked on the ward will now be asked to work with new care home li­ai­son teams as part of on­go­ing ef­forts to try to re­duce the num­ber of el­derly peo­ple with de­men­tia hav­ing to be ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal from care homes as emer­gen­cies.

This was one of three op­tions put to Perth and Kin­ross’ In­te­gra­tion Joint Board ( IJB) last Fri­day, the

other two op­tions be­ing to do noth­ing to change how care for the el­derly is cur­rently be­ing de­liv­ered across Perth and Kin­ross or to fur­ther de­velop a com­mu­nity men­tal health team specif­i­cally cov­er­ing south Perthshire.

A re­port put be­fore the board said the op­tion to boost care home li­ai­son teams was the “pre­ferred op­tion”, how­ever, as this would en­sure“the best use of re­sources and pro­vide the step change re­quired to move to­wards a more in­te­grated, per­son cen­tred ap­proach which en­sures the right care is pro­vided at the right time by the right per­son with the right skills.”

And a busi­ness case for the pro­posed model of care at­tached to the pa­per ex­plained fur­ther: “The model be­ing pro­posed is to en­hance spe­cial­ist li­ai­son and tran­si­tional care pro­vi­sion across Perth and Kin­ross to sup­port older peo­ple liv­ing with men­tal health needs in their own homely en­vi­ron­ment.

“It will sup­port peo­ple liv­ing in care homes to re­ceive the care and sup­port re­quired to re­main in that care home for as long as pos­si­ble. En­hanced sup­port will also be pro­vided at times of tran­si­tion in the pa­tient’s care jour­ney into hos­pi­tal and back home as well as into a care home.

“Ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing will be pro­vided to sup­port hos­pi­tal and care home staff to un­der­stand the needs of peo­ple liv­ing with men­tal health needs. In ad­di­tion, the model will sup­port the devel­op­ment of spe­cial­ist sup­port, where needed.”

In­tro­duc­ing the pa­pers to the IJB and ex­plain­ing the ra­tio­nale be­hind pick­ing the pre­ferred op­tion NHS Tay­side’s Eve­lyn Devine said hos­pi­tals had to ac­cept 600 peo­ple from care homes across Perth and Kin­ross as emer­gen­cies in 2016/17 which used up 8642 bed days.

She went on to say that it is es­ti­mated there are cur­rently 2700 peo­ple liv­ing in Perth and Kin­ross with de­men­tia and that health bosses are ex­pect­ing this num­ber to greatly in­crease in the com­ing years.

“[De­vel­op­ing] the de­men­tia li­ai­son ser­vice would al­low us to sup­port more peo­ple in a timely way in their own home or in a care home set­ting,” she said.

Weigh­ing up the pa­pers coun­cil­lor Chris Ah­ern – who rep­re­sents the cen­tre of Perth – said he was in favour of the pre­ferred op­tion but asked what would hap­pen to ward one and also asked what fu­ture Cri­eff Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal has.

Robert Pack­ham, the IJB’s chief of­fi­cer, would only say that the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment was hav­ing an “on­go­ing con­ver­sa­tion” about the fu­ture of com­mu­nity hos­pi­tals across Scot­land.

Ms Devine added there had been some in­ter­est in the ward from the vol­un­tary sec­tor and that a dis­cus­sion had even taken place about set­ting up a Men’s Shed there. Men’s Sheds is a con­cept that orig­i­nated in Aus­tralia to cre­ate some­where men can call their own, where they can spend time shar­ing skills, knowl­edge and in­ter­ests in a re­laxed at­mos­phere.

NHS Tay­side’s Al­lan Drum­mond then said he was “dis­ap­pointed” to read an as­ser­tion in the pa­pers that health of­fi­cials had been hav­ing “reg­u­lar on­go­ing dis­cus­sions” with ward one staff about the changes be­ing pro­posed.

He said he sat in on the only meet­ing that health of­fi­cials had ar­ranged for the staff and that they were not given any pa­pers ex­plain­ing the var­i­ous op­tions be­ing con­sid­ered.

“The staff were ver­bally given the three op­tions and the meet­ing lasted about 15 min­utes,” he said.

The board was asked to ap­prove the pre­ferred op­tion to en­hance care home li­ai­son teams, note the in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal con­sul­ta­tion and en­gage­ment ac­tiv­ity that had taken place and ap­prove key mile­stones for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pre­ferred op­tion.

The three pro­pos­als were unan­i­mously ap­proved by the board.

Op­tions Cri­eff Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal

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