An introduction from our chief medical officer
“Our vision to provide outstanding physical, mental and social care in a modern health and care system is at the heart of our proposed changes to older people’s mental health inpatient services.
“We want people who are diagnosed with dementia, or a functional mental health need such as anxiety, depression or psychosis, to be cared for as close to home as possible. We know that being close to home is better for people’s care and their wellbeing, and is also better for their families, carers and loved ones. Over the last few years, we have worked with our local health and care partners to make sure there is the right clinical and non-clinical support services available in communities. This means that people only need to be admitted to our older people’s mental health inpatient wards when they need more specialist care and support, or if their condition gets worse.
“At the moment, most of our older people’s mental health inpatient wards care for mixed needs, which means people with dementia and people with functional mental health needs share the same ward space. We know that this does not help us provide the best possible care or support the wellbeing of our patients.
“Living with dementia or functional mental health means every person’s daily needs are different. The care and support given to each individual should be tailored, along with the environment and activities on a ward to best manage a person’s condition, wellbeing and recovery.
“From a clinical point of view, there are lots of challenges on mixed needs wards. These range from managing the clinical needs of patients to giving all our inpatients appropriate and stimulating activities.
“It is so important that all our patients get the right care in a safe and supportive environment. Creating separate wards for people with dementia, and those with functional mental health needs, will help us to do this. This considerable investment into our services will give patients the right, evidence-based, high quality care and support for their condition on all our older people’s inpatient mental health wards.
“Families, friends, carers and loved ones make a big difference to the wellbeing of patients on our older people’s wards. I am confident that these proposed changes will give those who have a caring role a more positive experience when visiting their loved ones.
“Thank you for your interest in our older people’s mental health inpatient services consultation. We would really value your thoughts on our proposals. Giving your views will mean our communities, patients, carers, families, loved ones and staff are at the heart of our decision.”
Professor Subha Thiyagesh,
Chief medical officer
Consultant in psychiatry for older people Clinical lead for older people’s transformation
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust