"Glen Orchy Ward, Coathill Hospital closure"

About: Coathill Hospital / Old age psychiatry

(as a relative),

Could you help us please? Could you tell me why they are closing Glen Orchy Ward at Coathill Hospital, Coatbridge and moving all the patients, one being my husband to Wishaw General Hospital.

We received notification yesterday from the nursing staff about this change. As you can imagine they are also upset and worried about moving. Apparently all patients have to be moved in three weeks time over to Wishaw.

Glen Orchy is one of the facilities for patients with dementia and associated illnesses. My husband has been a patient there since last year. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and is unable to be at home. The staff and facilities have been excellent there and we have never had any issues with his care.

Closing this ward is a disgrace, why is this happening? We were under the impression that patients with his condition are suppose to be prioritised and as you can imagine this will be a great upheaval and change to them. The inconvenience caused to the families that haven't got transport and even with transport, the added extra distance will be a problem.

I am 75 years old, and I always visit every day, I will not be able to travel this distance to Wishaw and I am devastated this is happening. My family are extremely angry and upset with this and don't know who to turn to.

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Response from Maria Docherty, Nurse Director, South Lanarkshire Health &Social Care Partnership, Mental Health, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Maria Docherty

Dear Worried family,

I appreciate that any move for a patient can be an anxious and worrying time for family and friends. I apologise for the upset that this planned move has caused, but I would like to reassure you that your husband will continue to receive the best possible care.

A stakeholder event in 2013 reviewed NHS Lanarkshire’s Old Age Psychiatry services and identified that providing Old Age Psychiatry admission beds on acute hospital sites was the best option for patients. It determined that patients would be able to access the specialist care required, assessments would be quicker and this could lead to an improved outcome for patients. It has only recently been possible to identify suitable accommodation to implement the outcome of the review.

Moving to fit-for-purpose units will provide a safer service by improving access to investigations on-site, and to out-of-hours medical cover. Being on an acute hospital site will remove the need to transfer patients to and from acute sites for investigations. Patient safety will also be enhanced with the 24-hour, seven-day onsite medical cover available on acute sites. There will be on-site access to emergency services and there would also be no delays for patients receiving routine investigations as a result of issues with transport or escorts.

It is envisaged that the first phase in this improvement process will commence in September 2015 and there will be individual communication with patients and families prior to this with the opportunity to discuss and ensure a plan is in place with the care team.

I’ll be happy to discuss the planned changes with you personally, or you can also speak with my colleague Jennifer Russell (Service Manager). You can contact us via the Senior Charge Nurse on the ward or 01698 858115.

Kind regards


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