Lowry Unit at St James' Hospital

It has been decided that the Lowry Unit in the grounds of St James' Hospital will close at the end of June 2014. Please find more information in our latest news.

Purpose of consultation

The purpose of the meeting is to understand the views of service users, families and carers of Lowry Unit at St James' Hospital about the proposal to close the unit and support people in appropriate alternative community settings or alternative day service provision.

The Lowry Unit operates as a day service, providing up to 20 places daily, five days per week, for older people with mental health problems who are registered with GPs in Portsmouth City. The Unit is part of the range of Older People's Mental Health services commissioned from Solent NHS Trust.

Referrals to the unit have been decreased since 2012. People are increasingly referred to the range of community services which have been commissioned as a result of implementing the Dementia Action Plan for the City, developed in repsonse to the National Dementia Strategy - Living Well with Dementia (2009).

The current and future direction of services for older people with dementia is for early identification and support for people to live well in their communities through accessing short term secondary care and inpatient support as necessary.

What alternative provision is available?

In Portsmouth a range of community services have been developed, which include:

  • The development of two Dementia Cafes, one in Southsea and one in Cosham. These provides information and support, and enable people living with dementia and carers to meet regularly and share their experiences with others in similar positions.
  • The introduction of dementia advisors, whose role is to be a single identifiable point of contact with knowledge and direct access to the whole range of available local services.
  • The responsibility for the provision of the Carer Information and Support programme now being managed by The Alzheimer's Society. This was formerly provided by Solent NHS Trust.
  • The launch of the Dementia Network by the Alzheimer's Society in January 2014.
  • The current trial of a range of reablement services such as The Dementia Voice Nurse, who can work with people with Dementia nearing the end of their lives and who have multiple and complex needs.

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