Review of dementia bed places

The Craw Wood Nursing Home in Tweedbank.
The Craw Wood Nursing Home in Tweedbank.

CONCERNS about the quality of care provided to dementia sufferers at a Tweedbank care home has prompted the council to review its provision, writes Adam Drummond.

Members of Scottish Borders Council’s social work and housing committee will discuss a report today (Thursday), which states that the current provision of care for people with behavioural psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) is ‘not fit for purpose and will not meet future demands’.

The council currently block-books the 24 specialist dementia places at Eildon Housing Association’s Craw Wood facility to ensure access whenever there is a vacancy.

However, the council’s head of social care and health, Elaine Torrance, said in her report: “It has become apparent over the last 14 months that due to the increasing complexity of needs, concerns over quality of care and concerns over the design, a different model is required.”

Craw Wood is attempting to stave off closure after the Care Inspectorate warned Eildon in October last year that it would cancel the service’s registration unless ‘significant improvements’ were made.

Ms Torrance’s recommendation, backed by Andrew Lowe, director of social work, is that the council should decommission the current dementia beds provided at Craw Wood and instead block-book beds in nursing homes across the Borders.

It is proposed that the council will use the current budget to commission six beds for residential 24-hour care in three nurse-led homes, in addition to two respite/short stay places in each.

The creation of the beds across the Borders would mean people could be accommodated closer to home, and the provision of the service within larger nursing homes would mean residents could just move within the home if they were diagnosed as no longer having BPSD.

The committee is being recommended to approve the new commissioning plans and also agree to receive another report with proposals to decommission the current service within 12 months.

The report states that the council has been in contact with Eildon Housing about the proposals and the impact on the service.

Mr Lowe told TheSouthern that whatever happens with the proposals the council ‘remains committed’ to Craw Wood and will continue to refer people to the service.

Chief executive of Eildon, Nile Istephan, added: “We remain committed to delivering quality services and to fully supporting residents and their relatives.”

A Care Inspectorate report is currently being awaited following the January deadline for improvements at Craw Wood.

This will reveal if improvements have been made and if they are significant enough to enable the care home to continue operating.