Sidmouth’s Stowford Lodge - questions to be addressed

Stowford Lodge closed to day care patients last Friday. The Sidmouth Herald poses these questions on behalf of residents

THESE are the questions people in Sidmouth want answering following NHS Devon Trust’s closure of Stowford Lodge to day care patients last Friday:

• Why did the NHS Trust’s chief executive Iain Tulley promise at a public meeting in Sidmouth in June that Stowford Lodge would not close until a suitable, alternative location was found to offer assessments, early intervention and therapeutic day treatment facilities. Have other facilities been found and if so where?

• There has been a distinct lack of communication from the NHS regarding the running down and now closure to all but admin staff at Stowford Lodge, which has been admitted and apologised for. What is the reason for this?

• With 551 dementia sufferers and only four psychiatric nurses in Sidmouth, how does the NHS expect people to cope without respite care?

• There are considerable capital assets in Stowford Lodge, built specifically for the needs of community. Are they going to be lost to the community or are they going to be used to improve care in the community for dementia sufferers?

• At the public meeting in June, Iain Tulley indicated running costs at Stowford Lodge amounted to �100k a year before services were provided. Would the savings clearly to be made with closure of the building be redirected to the needs of community and if so how?

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• If the Trust feels unable to maintain and run Stowford Lodge as a respite centre, could it not donate the centre to a local charity, charging a peppercorn rent in the interim, until a care in the community model is formulated?