I have received several representations regarding proposals for Maple ward, and below is an example. I made made some minor changes to protect the identity of the author.
Dear Councillor Julian Ware-Lane,
I am writing to you to ask for your support in a matter I feel very passionately about.
Mental health nurses work at the local dementia assessment ward (Maple Ward) at Rochford
Hospital. They nurse patients who are initially admitted to us under
Section 2/3 of the mental health act, often due to being impossible to
manage in the community. They provide assessment and treatment to patients
who can no longer be cared for safely at home or in a care home, often
due to their physical aggression.
Unfortunately, we have just
been informed of the news that the ward is under consultation. With
plans to close the existing ward at Rochford hospital. This would mean
that the next nearest dementia assessment unit is in Thurrock. I am
greatly concerned about how ethical this is to local residents who
suffer from dementia and their relatives.
Residents in the local
area would have to travel over 25 miles to access a dementia ward.
Something which is a challenge and a financial burden for our elderly
community. How can we expect relatives of dementia patients to travel
all the way to Thurrock to visit their loved ones? Thurrock hospital
offers no form of transport links with our local area
(Southend/Rochford/Benfleet). The cost of a taxi is £55.00 for one way
from Rochford to Thurrock hospital (£110 for a return).
physical health hospitals, admission to a dementia assessment unit is
not a short stay. Patients will often stay for a minimum of 6-8 weeks,
but as they pose such challenging behaviour, they often stay much longer
as they cannot be placed in care homes and require a stay of several
Therefore, relatives will not only be doing the trip to Thurrock
for a few days/weeks, they would have to pay for the travel for months
upon months. How can we expect local pensioners in our area to afford
The expectation people should travel into another area for
dementia care is astonishing, it is a backward step, and is certainly
not beneficial to our local community.
Please can I ask for any
support from you in this matter? We care so much about Maple ward and the
elderly people in our community who are affected by dementia. We
strongly oppose any plans to remove the dementia assessment unit from