January 15, 2024

People in Wakefield asked for views on local older people’s mental health inpatient services

The local NHS has launched a consultation on improving mental health care for older people on inpatient wards across Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale.

The consultation asks people to share their views about creating specialist inpatient wards for older people with dementia, and dedicated wards for older people living with other mental health needs such as anxiety, depression or psychosis, which are known as ‘functional mental health needs’.

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board are working together on the consultation.

People are invited to come along to drop in events in Wakefield and Hemsworth to find out more about the consultation and ask any questions. People can come along anytime between 2-7pm, there is no need to book in advance. The consultation events will be held on:

  • Thursday 18 January, Balne Lane Community Centre, Wakefield, WF2 0DP
  • Tuesday 23 January, Hemsworth Community Centre, WF9 4NE

The event venues are accessible for wheelchair users and have induction loops. Guide dogs are also welcome.

This consultation is important for people in Wakefield, Calderdale and Kirklees and in particular for people who are living with dementia, or a functional mental health need, their families, carers, loved ones and health and care staff.

At the moment there are older people’s mental health inpatient wards based at Fieldhead Hospital in Wakefield, The Poplars in Hemsworth, in The Priestley Unit at Dewsbury and District Hospital and The Dales at Calderdale Royal Hospital.

The proposals are to create a specialist dementia ward at either the Priestley Unit, Dewsbury and District Hospital or at Fieldhead Hospital in Wakefield. Patients living with a functional mental health need would be cared for in a dedicated ward at the other main hospital locations. The proposals do not include The Poplars in Hemsworth which is no longer suitable for an older people’s mental health inpatient ward.

People can find out more about the consultation on the website: www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk/opsconsultation including how to give their views using the online survey, and information about other events in Calderdale and Kirklees.

Professor Subha Thiyagesh, chief medical officer and consultant in psychiatry for older people, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “At the moment, most of our older people’s mental health inpatient wards care for mixed needs. This means people living with dementia or a functional mental health need, 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.

“Creating separate wards for people with dementia, and those with functional mental health needs, will help us give the right care in the right environment. This is an investment into our services which will give our patients evidence-based, high-quality care and better support their needs.

“We would really value people’s 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.”

The consultation will be open for 12 weeks until 29 March 2024. Once the consultation closes all the feedback received will help the local NHS make an informed decision.

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