Unused beds, empty corridors

PUBLISHED: 16:14 01 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:02 26 October 2009

Sir – There are 30 beds at the Danesbury Home and up to March 31 they were allocated under the 2004 agreement as follows: l 17 beds for Rolling Respite Care beds l 7 Permanent Care beds l 6 Neurological Rehabilitation beds l 30 beds in all. For reasons t

Sir - There are 30 beds at the Danesbury Home and up to March 31 they were allocated under the 2004 agreement as follows:

l 17 beds for Rolling Respite Care beds

l 7 Permanent Care beds

l 6 Neurological Rehabilitation beds

l 30 beds in all.

For reasons that are not clear the Neurological Rehabilitation beds have never been used.

The situation since April 1, 2008 is as follows:

l 6 Rolling Respite Care beds

l 4 Permanent Care beds

This means that there are now 20 unused beds. Further, whereas patients could book 10 or even 12 weeks rolling respite care per year in advance, now they can only book three weeks up to September.

In a carefully crafted statement from the PCT, a spokeswoman said: "We have no intention of reducing the number of rolling respite beds at Danesbury."

I believe her - they have already reduced the number of rolling respite beds and plan to keep them at that level... for now!

When I went Danesbury my feet echoed in the empty corridors. What the patients, their carers and the public want, is a return to the old system that existed under the 2004 Agreement and the facilities in this Home fully used.

I was particularly struck by this spokeswoman continuing in a lofty tone: "I can only imagine patients have heard rumours of changes of changes at Danesbury and thought the worse..."

Not quite right. Drastic changes had already taken place at Danesbury and the patients and their carers had been neither informed nor consulted.

Wouldn't you be worried?

Tom Davidson, Welwyn Hatfield Alliance.


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