Question of “scandalous treatment”

SIR - We are extremely disturbed by your front page article “Last post for care centre”.

It is obvious that, in the NHS, the left hand does not know what the right hard is doing. It could be passed off as a joke if the circumstances were not so tragic.

You report that a 79 year old carer and her 83 year old dementia-stricken husband, have recently been written to, advising that Stowford Lodge “would close imminently”. Last week the carer was verbally told “If you bring your husband, there will be no-one to look after him”. In the same article, you report “NHS chiefs insist Stowford Lodge is still open.”.

Just what is going on?

If true, either NHS Trust’s chief executive should resign, or the “staffer” at Stowford Lodge should be fired!

In any event, both should place themselves in the position of these two very elderly citizens and consider what action they would take if their parents were being treated in this manner?

Overriding this scandalous treatment begs the question what has the NHS chief executive been doing while the use of Stowford Lodge has been allowed to dwindle to one sole user, when we are told there are 551 diagnosed dementia sufferers in this area?

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Has he arranged for a letter to be written to the families of the other 550 dementia sufferers advising them of the existence of Stowford Lodge, its facilities and services, inviting them to visit and sample the respite care that is available?

Has he contacted each Doctor at Sidmouth Health Centre with a request that they encourage dementia sufferers and their carers to improve their existence by making use of Stowford Lodge?

Is there a hidden agenda to use the building for yet more offices or even sell it?

Alison Black and Anne Phelps

Former Health Visitorand Former Nursing Officer, Sidmouth Hospital

11 Deans Mead, Sidmouth