A REHABILITATION wing for elderly hospital patients in Sheffield is being axed – putting jobs at risk and meaning residents will need to find private care.
Workers at the 15-bed facility in the Grenoside Grange unit have been given 90 days’ notice that the wing is shutting, following the decision by NHS Sheffield’s Clinical Commissioning Group.
Grenoside Grange’s west wing caters for patients aged over 65 with dementia or Alzheimer’s, who need to be rehabilitated after leaving hospital, and costs around £1million a year to run.
One worker said she felt the quality of care would not be the same if patients had to use a private facility.
Staff have been told they will be redeployed but redundancies are not being ruled out.
Health chiefs say patients are staying too long at the wing and it is too expensive.
But the worker said: “We get more difficult patients than the private sector can cope with. I think in some respects the reason why they’re closing it is it takes such a long time for us to rehabilitate our patients.
“They try and say we can take six to 12 weeks, but I don’t think we’ve ever rehabilitated anyone in six weeks.”
One patient has been staying at the wing for 15 years.
Dr Leigh Sorsbie, local GP and Mental Health Lead at NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Although Grenoside Grange West Wing was commissioned as a short term rehabilitation facility for people after being discharged from hospital, we have found only a small percent of people actually do return to their homes.
“This suggests that our patients have care needs that need to be met elsewhere – either through specialist at-home rehabilitation or admission to a care home setting.”
Dr Sorsbie said wanted people to receive specialist support in their own homes or care homes rather than spending more time in a ‘hospital setting’.
But she stressed the decision was not about the quality of care provided by staff but about the type of care ‘which is no longer the best way to meet people’s needs’.
“Closing the facility will mean that we can focus on caring for Sheffield’s dementia patients in a more effective and appropriate way.”