Tuesday 11 May 2010

Future of Ward 6 at Royal Victoria Hospital

Many residents have expressed concern to me about the future of Ward 6 at Royal Victoria Hospital and, in particular, care for older people at the hospital. I recently wrote to Professor Tony Wells, Chief Executive of NHS Tayside, to express my concerns and seek assurances. I have today received the following response :

"Due to the physical environment of Ward 6, the proposed changes mean that there will be a planned, phased closure of this ward over the next five months. However, over the same period, we will be increasing the number of acute medicine or the elderly beds at Ninewells.

NHS Tayside is embarking on an ambitious programme of modernisation of older people services across Tayside as part of our Older People's Strategy. These plans look at how we can ensure that older people are assessed more quickly and are cared for with all the support they need in the most appropriate environment for their individual needs.

This includes looking at reducing unnecessary admissions and also reducing prolonged lengths of stay for older people in a hospital bed.

Part of the modernisation programme includes a review of the services provided at both Royal Victoria Hospital and Ninewells to ensure that older people requiring admission to hospital are placed in the correct setting and that we have a range of services to support alternatives to admission where this is appropriate.

We believe these improvements will enhance the pathway of care for older people in Tayside and improve care within Medicine for the Elderly Services."

I would welcome feedback from residents and will continue dialogue with NHS Tayside regarding all concerns and issues raised by residents.