Trust ‘clueless’ over mental health care

Hospital beds
Hospital beds
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I write regarding the article on October 30th, “Severe care blow for East Lancashire dementia patients.”

As an ex-nurse still in touch with several nurses that work for Lancashire Care Trust, I would like people to know the truth about the state of older adults’ nursing regarding dementia care.

East Lancashire has suffered greatly regarding ward closures in the last two to three years and these closures have been made by Lancashire Care Trust. They have actively closed at least four wards that were used for the admission and assessment for older people with mental health problems and dementia.

In September this year Lancashire Care Trust closed Ward 19 at Burnley General Hospital. Due to this closure older people are being shipped like cattle all over Lancashire and beyond. I know for a fact the Trust has, on many occasions, no beds at all for these patients and are using private hospitals for these patients at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Surely it would have been cheaper and much better for patients to be nursed in East Lancashire. Your article states there is a new unit to be built in Blackpool for up to 30 patients. What will this do to patients with dementia if not disorientate them even more?

The Trust will argue they sent out questionnaires and families/carers were in agreement but anyone reading the questionnaires who had inside knowledge would know they were worded to make things look better than they actually were.

Most nurses feel it is no longer about improved care but about money. The fact many mental health trusts refer to patients as “service users” rather than patients tends to show this and to them it is a business but to the good and dedicated nurses still doing the job they will always be patients and people needing help.

I believe the Trust has integrity and compassion as two of its values and yet they are showing none at all in the area of older people’s mental health care and in fact they are clueless and should be ashamed of themselves.

A very disillusioned nurse