Stay of execution for unit

Altham Meadows. Morecambe.
Altham Meadows. Morecambe.

Dementia beds will continue to be provided from Altham Meadows until at least March 2014.

This follows a review by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and commissioners to ensure that the demand for dementia services in Lancashire can be met over the winter period. It will also allow the enhancement of community services prior to the further reduction of beds.

Heather Tierney-Moore, Chief Executive at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are working with commissioners to further enhance community services to enable the majority of people to be cared for in their usual place of residence.

“In north Lancashire this includes expanding the Intermediate Community Support team to seven days per week and developing a Care Home Liaison Service.

“It is our view that by delaying the closure of the beds at Altham Meadows, we can ensure that we achieve a safe and smooth transition as the new community services become fully operational.

Dr Alex Gaw, clinical chair at Lancashire North CCG said: “As local GPs, we have a good understanding of the experience of people living with dementia who use local health services as we hear about these experiences daily.

“The development of community services will enable the majority of people to be cared for in their usual place of residence and a specialist 30 bed unit will provide inpatient care for the minority of people who cannot be supported in the community.”

The Harbour, in Blackpool, looks the most likely to become the new specialist bed unit, and if agreed, is expected to be operational by spring 2015.