New centre opens for Thurrock dementia sufferers
Date posted: 03-08-2012
A FLAGSHIP centre for people with dementia has been given the go-ahead in south Essex.
The Board of NHS South Essex has given the green light to a pilot project at Mountnessing Court in Billericay. The pilot will be introduced in the Autumn, with initial results assessed in January 2013.
The centre will be dedicated to patients with dementia and will see all organisations involved in these patients’ care under one roof.
The specialist unit will bring together medical, therapeutic, social care, and mental health staff, as well as workers from the Alzheimer’s Society, and will be supported by a consultant psychiatrist and a geriatrician.
Ian Stidston, Director of Primary Care and Partnership Commissioning at NHS South Essex, says: “This unit will give people the choice to have intensive support away from hospital. We want to provide the necessary care they and their carers need so they can stay at home and live as independently as possible, for as long as possible, if that is their wish.”
Katherine Kirk, Chair of the Board, added: “An important aspect of this project is the support from the Alzheimer’s Society for carers, both on the unit and also in the community once the patient has returned home.
“This unit will bridge the gap between the patient’s home and hospital or a residential care home.”
The 22-bed specialist unit – for dementia patients in south west Essex as well as Castle Point and Rochford – will provide rehabilitation seven days a week for up to eight weeks.
During this time, the patient will receive intensive, expert care in a safe and appropriate environment which has been set up specifically for people with dementia. It will also support the patient’s carers and/or family so they are more able and confident to help them when they leave the unit, with the back-up of specialists.
The unit will be for patients who have been in hospital and will give them and their carers the support they need. The aim will be to get the patient back to their pre- episode health and independence so they can return home, if they wish.
Patients with dementia with a particular medical problem, such as a Urinary Tract Infection, will also be able to stay at the centre, so they can be supported before their problem becomes so serious that an admission to an acute hospital is necessary.
NHS South Essex hopes the unit will delay patients’ dependency and prevent the deterioration of their physical and mental health.