A date has been set for the closure of beds on the Fenton Ward at Buxton’s Cavendish Hospital.
Under the controversial Better Care Closer to Home review, all of the elderly mental health beds on the Spencer Ward at Cavendish are to shut later this month as part of a move towards treating more people in their own homes.
It has now been confirmed that eight interim care beds on Fenton Ward - which provides rehabilitation following illness, injury and loss of independence - will close at the end of September.
It has also been announced that the new Dementia Rapid Response Team (DRRT) - which will be in operation following the closure of the Spencer Ward - will be based out of Newholme Hospital in Bakewell.
The High Peak DRRT is expected to eventually be based at the new £20m hospital to be built on the site of the former Buxton Water bottling factory on Station Road, however questions have been asked about where the team will be based in the interim.
Ruth George, MP for the High Peak, said: “The most disappointing response is that the DRRT will initially be based at Newholme Hospital, making it harder for Buxton staff to locate there and also travel around to patients.
“I have requested the CCG look into a secondary hub, based at Buxton, until the new facility is built. I also pressed them on the treatment of staff to make sure that as many as possible of our brilliant staff at the Cavendish can continue to use their skills for the local community.”
The Spencer Ward is due to close by the end of February after 35 years in the community.
Campaigner Keith Horncastle said: “The new hospital is great news for Buxton, and it makes good sense to have all the services together, but by the time it is completed it will be too late to build a mental health assessment unit which still may be needed by the people of Buxton.”
A Better Care Closer to Home spokesman said: “It has never been our intention to have only one base for the DRRT.
“The concept is around looking after people in their homes rather than being tied to any particular operational base.
“Initial accommodation for the High Peak and North Dales DRRT has been identified at Newholme Hospital.
“We will be monitoring activity of the DRRTs at a local level to enable us to see where patients are being supported and will make sure teams are based in the location that helps them to deliver the most effective service.
“The Better Care Closer to Home consultation put forward eight bed closures for Fenton Ward with eight remaining as specialist rehabilitation beds.
“The current plan is to decommission the eight beds on Fenton Ward at the end of September.
“It’s important to remember the proposed reduction will be balanced by the new Community Support Bed capacity being commissioned.”