Thursday, 7 July 2016

Closing ward four would be a false economy with devastating consequences.

Earlier this week North Staffs Combined Healthcare Trust announced plans to close its dementia care unit at Harplands hospital after the area's two clinical commissioning groups cuts its funding.

The staff on ward four have been praised by the national care regulator for their work in helping frail elderly people retain their independence for as long as possible.

Speaking to the Sentinel Combined chief executive Caroline Donovan said the ward's 'outstanding and committed staff' had provided care that has helped patients return home sooner, adding that despite the financial challenges faced by the NHS 'the ward's approach is one I believe should be supported.'

North Staffs Green Party fully supports keeping ward four open and will be actively campaigning to secure its future.

Campaign Coordinator Adam Colclough said : 'I have visited the ward on a number of occasions as a volunteer for a local mental health charity and seen at first hand the good work done there.'

He added that: 'the staff are a credit to the core values of the NHS, cutting the service they provide would be a false economy with devastating consequences for patients and carers.'

The party have written to minster of state for community and social care Alistair Burt asking him to intervene.

The Green Party fought the 2015 general election on a manifesto pledge to provide free social care for older people funded by taxation and to protecting the NHS as a comprehensive free at the point of use health service.

They are also committed to increasing spending on mental health services in line with their pledge to increase health spending overall, and to fighting the stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with mental illness.

Mr Colclough said: 'we have asked the minister to ensure that no decision about the future of ward four is taken until the people who use the service, their carers, staff and local mental health charities have been fully consulted.'

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