Hospital ward faces the axe
Families in tears over plans
Families have been left in the dark after discovering by chance a secret plan to close a secure ward of dementia patients.
The Iona Lewis ward at the Ailsa Hospital in Ayr is being culled by NHS Ayrshire and Arran.
The plan has left families devastated, some have been reduced to tears.
There are around 10 dementia patients aged from their late 60s to over 80 in the historic unit, each needing a high level of care from staff.
A patient’s daughter said everyone has been left stunned and angry and emotions are running high.
She said: “I found out through Chinese whispers and then had to ask a member of staff - nobody has approached any of us.
“I am just so happy dad and the rest of the patients have no idea what is happening to them.”
She added: “The staff here are lovely and I don’t think they know what is going to happen.
“But they confirmed to me the ward is closing.
“It is a disgrace this health board don’t see fit or just plainly don’t know how to communicate to let anyone know what they are doing.
“As far as I know there are no similar wards in the area, which will affect a lot of people.”
The 15 single bedroomed ward is one of the traditional old units at Ailsa, which has been wound down in scale by board mandarins.
Many pat i e nts are shifted 15 miles to the new Woodland View mental health unit in Irvine.
The remaining wards at Ailsa for older mental health patients are the Croy, Dunure, Jura and Clonbeith.
NHS Ayrshire and Arran Director Stephen Brown confirmed changes are being looked at.
Mr Brown said: “We continue to review how we provide elderly mental health inpatient care.
“The accommodation at Ailsa Hospital is of a poorer standard than that provided at, Woodland View at Ayrshire Central Hospital, which opened in May 2016.
We are, therefore, working to relocate some of the wards on the Ailsa site and maximise the use of the Woodland View facilities.
“This review is designed to make best use of our entire estate, while continuing to improve the patient’s experience.”
Facing closure Plans to shut the Iona Lewis ward at the Ailsa Hospital