Respite plea

SIR - I would like to add my comments about Stowford Lodge to contribute to the discussion about the future of this facility.

NHS Partnership Trust spokesman, whose comments you reported in the Sidmouth Herald on 11.2.2011 were a fatuous remark, “Stowford Lodge is the building not a service” he said. Hospitals are buildings, but we all know what we expect that building to house, medical and surgical services for patients. We expect Stowford Lodge to provide care for the elderly mentally-confused and give respite care for the carers. I found those comments of the spokesman patronising and insulting towards those who need the service which Stowford Lodge provides.

Carers save the NHS and Social Sevices millions of pounds every year and they need help and support to care for their mentally-frail elderly relatives and not insensitive remarks.

Stowford Lodge was purpose-built for the care of the elderly mentally confused, so why is it not seen as this type of facility now?

If the NHS is no longer the provider for this type of care, why cannot the building be used by Social Services on behalf of the NHS Partnership Trust leaving a suitable venue for the NHS staff to use for specialist clinics where clinical care and treatment can also be given?

No doubt the care the NHS is planning to offer for the future will be “home based” which means the carer will end up with no respite care outside their home and they will become even more stressed and tired as a result.

Claire Crouch

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12 Yardelands,