Dementia patients will have to move after Redbridge CCG end contract at ‘only specialist home in the borough’

A protest was held before the meeting against closing Meadow Court. Picture: Ken Mears

A protest was held before the meeting against closing Meadow Court. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Residents are disgusted after Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) terminated its contract with a centre some experts claim is the borough’s only specialist dementia care home.

At a meeting on Thursday (November 30) the board voted to end the block contract with Care UK which delivers care to challenging dementia patients at Meadow Court, Barley lane.

Susan Winch-Furness, whose husband has lived there for six years, said it was an “absolute tragedy” that the CCG is allowing the closure of such a vital home.

She is also disappointed that not one member of the panel answered her questions at the meeting.

“I had hoped that with your insight into health problems, you would have realised that this home is needed so much,” she said to the CCG.

“Four residents were moved from Meadow Court recently, two of which died shortly afterwards, and the other two became very ill and were hospitalised almost immediately.

“Where was the support the CCG claims it provides, which should have prevented this? How many other homes in this area have mental health nurses who are essential in Alzheimer’s care?”

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A doctor specialising in dementia care recently told the Recorder there was no where else in Redbridge capable of providing the same level of dementia care as staff at Meadow Court.

However, Redbridge CCG insists the care home was never formally recognised as specialising in dementia.

Dr Raj Kumar, Redbridge CCG mental health clinical lead, said ending the agreement would save £2.4 million a year and not all beds were being used after the CCG stopped advertising services there to prospective patients.

“After careful consideration, including feedback from public consultation, we decided to end the contract,” he said.

“GPs agreed that those residents can be safely and appropriately cared for in other homes, and the contract does not offer value for money.”

He said the impact on moving residents would be “low”.

Another panel member called round a sample of homes in the borough that were referenced as providing dementia care.

She said the alternative providers were either at capacity or could not take people with challenging dementia traits

“Where are people meant to go?” she asked.

Jon Abrams of One Place East, said the CCG demonstrated a lack of respect and compassion.

“The board refused to engage with carers and ignored many of the pertinent questions about quality of care, health outcomes following relocation, and the standard of local care homes,” he said,

“Older people have human rights too and the board’s decision to effectively eject dementia patients from their homes is a tragedy.”