Changes will provide more dementia assessment closer to home
- Credit: Archant
More patients with dementia will be able to receive assessment closer to home as part of changes across Norfolk and Waveney.
The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has announced it is reconfiguring its specialist beds for people with mental health problems and dementia at the Julian Hospital in Norwich, including two wards at neighbouring Hammerton Court, as well as at Carlton Court in Lowestoft.
The allocation of beds will change from the current 48 longer term care beds and 13 assessment beds, to a new ratio of 35 care beds and 26 assessment beds.
The NSFT says it will allow it to meet increasing demand for dementia assessment beds while reducing the need for people to travel further afield, and will ensure people are assessed quickly and effectively.
The changes come as part of a wider review to ensure NSFT's beds and resources are used in the best possible way to meet local needs.
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In addition, it will give staff the opportunity to use the longer-term care beds – which will be on the Rose Ward at Hammerton Court and at Carlton Court – more flexibly. The changes will also see four of the wards become single sex only, while the fifth – the Laurel Ward at Carlton Court – will remain as mixed sex as it fully complies with the latest single sex accommodation standards.
Debbie White, director of operations in Norfolk, said: 'Demand for dementia assessment beds has continued to grow over recent years, which means we have had to look for different ways to deliver services so that we can continue to meet the needs of all of our patients.
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'This reconfiguration will allow us to offer urgent assessment more quickly and to more patients closer to home, without the need for them to travel further afield.
'Research and patient results also show us that assessing people and getting them home with the right support in place leads to better outcomes. At the same time, this frees up beds for those in greater clinical needs, which supports the wider improvements we are making to both older people's services as well as crisis care.
'In addition, this change will give us the opportunity to use our longer-term care beds flexibly so that we can better meet the changing needs of our patients.
'We are working closely with our patients and their families and will complete the transition gradually over the next few weeks to make sure that any patient transfers, including discharges back into the community, are carried out safely and appropriately.'
The changes at Hammerton Court in Norwich will see the 13-bed Reed Ward change from a mixed sex ward providing longer term care for those who need intensive support to an assessment unit for female patients. The 13-bed Rose Ward, which is currently a mixed sex ward providing longer term care for those who need intensive support, will change to a female-only ward.
At the Julian Hospital in Norwich, the 13-bed Beach ward, which is currently a mixed sex assessment ward, will change to a male-only ward.
The changes at Carlton Court in Lowestoft will see the 11-bed Foxglove Ward, which is currently a mixed sex ward providing longer term care for those who need intensive support, change to a male-only ward. The 11-bed Laurel Ward will remain a mixed sex ward providing longer term care for those who need intensive support.