Borders dementia care to change

Hospital beds for dementia patients reduced to shift to ‘informal and homely settings’

Thursday 15th August 2019

Health and care services in the Borders are to change the way they work so more people can be cared for outside of hospital.

Rob McCulloch-Graham, Borders health and care partnership chief officer, said hospital environments could increase “distress” for people with dementia.

Under the changes, inpatient dementia beds at Borders General Hospital will be reduced by two-thirds and community care facilities are to be scaled up.

Mr McCulloch-Graham said: “Specialist dementia wards are frequently located in environments that do not support person-centred care and can increase the distress of the person with dementia and their family.

“Shifting the balance of care to more informal and homely settings allows us to address this and provide better care for those living with dementia and their families.

“By taking this approach patients will be able to access multi-disciplinary professionals required to support and provide appropriate care for the current wide range of differing needs.”

Health bosses are to set aside a £300,000 reserve to pay for more spaces for people with dementia in care homes.

Documents considered by the partnership’s Integration Joint Board outlining changes in the Cauldshiels and Melburn Lodge dementia wards at Borders General Hospital show the decision was also driven by a need to cut costs. 

“The resetting of the model of care within Melburn Lodge will enable a significant improvement in quality of dementia care facilities, save significant annual revenue resources and avoid the need for  substantial investment in the fabric of the Cauldshiels facility,” a report states.

McCulloch-Graham added: “In the coming weeks, patients who are currently being cared for in the one of our dementia inpatient wards will either be transferred  to Melburn Lodge, home, or to a more suitable provision within the community which will be much more appropriate for their needs.

“As a result the bed capacity in Cauldshiels ward will no longer be required, and the model of care within Melburn Lodge will be reset to include assessment and treatment.

“Patients and their families and carers will be fully supported by our excellent multi-disciplinary care teams as we implement this change.”