Fears raised over dementia unit closure

Altham Meadows.
Altham Meadows.

Concerns have been raised that dementia care could suffer under new plans.

NHS Lancashire carried out a 12-week consultation into the future of dementia care, and last month it was decided a specialist inpatient unit would be built in Blackpool.

Critics say the move, which would see the closure of the Altham Meadows Assessment Unit in Morecambe, may cause problems for people in the north of the county.

The county currently has around 60 specialist dementia beds in hospitals. The new move will see a specialist 30-bed unit in Blackpool, assessing and treating people with significant behavioural problems. There will also be increased community support.

One member of the public, who did not wish to be named, said: “This will create challenges for carers and families to maintain contact with the patients, often in the end-of-life process.

“A result will be significant levels of distress for people at a very vulnerable stage in their lives.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “The recent dementia consultation confirmed that the preferred option was a single site 30 bed dementia unit.

“Altham Meadows is not a suitable option for a single site and will close.”