Furious MP Caroline Spelman has demanded answers over the future of Solihull Hospital’s dementia ward – as health chiefs appeared to signal it was to be shut down.
The Meriden politician said she had been told nothing of plans to close ward 10, despite claims that carers had been told it had been earmarked for closure.
Tory Ms Spelman said any such move would be folly given Solihull’s ageing population.
Health bosses this week told the News they wanted to find “better models of care” for dementia patients – “ideally outside of a hospital environment”.
Mr Spelman said: “No-one warned me about this as a local MP or explained what will replace this valuable service.
“So I will get to the bottom of what has gone wrong and try to restore it.
“Dementia afflicts 25 per cent of all patients admitted over the age of 80.
“I have seen how the care of mental health and geriatric nurses together helps these vulnerable elderly patients recover from setbacks and get ready to return to independent living.”
Solihull MP Lorely Burt has also thrown her support behind Ward 10 and launched a petition.
Both MPs were taken on a tour of the dementia facility.
“Of all the beds to be cut, it just can’t be the ones for dementia sufferers,” the Liberal Democrat MP said.
“They need specialist care, in a safe environment – somewhere where patients’ relatives can visit them and eat a meal with them.”
The News revealed fears over the ward’s future last week.
A hospital spokesman said last week that bosses were talking with medical chiefs about “improving dementia care moving forward”, although it was stressed that no decisions had been made.
In a new statement, Dr Patrick Brooke, chief officer of Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We commend the hospital trust for the approach taken to improve the care of their patients who have dementia. We believe the delivery of high quality care for this vulnerable group while in hospital is a part of core work.
“Together with Heart of England Foundation Trust, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust and Solihull Council we are looking to develop better models of care for people with dementia.
“Ideally, this should be outside of a hospital environment wherever possible because we are aware that, for people with dementia, hospital care can be a difficult experience.
“We continue to work with partner organisations to achieve a sustainable solution as we recognise a very significant proportion of older people admitted to hospital will have a dementia.
“Providing good care tailored to individuals need is absolutely the right thing to do.”