Final chance to discuss proposals for older people’s mental health services in Harrogate district

2 January 2013

HospitalPeople are being invited to attend a final public meeting to discuss proposed improvements to the way mental health services are provided for older people in the Harrogate District.

The Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will be hosting a fifth public meeting with Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust to discuss the proposals. Details as follows:

When: Wednesday 16 January 2013 – 3pm until 5pm

Where: Knaresborough House, High St, Knaresborough HG5 0HW

Currently Alexander House in Knaresborough and the Rowan Ward at Harrogate District Hospital have 32 beds between them. Fewer than half of the beds are in use at any one time and national guidance says a population the size of the Harrogate area needs around 15 – 16 assessment and treatment beds for older people.

Older people’s mental health services in Harrogate are provided by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust is proposing to reduce the number of beds to the recommended number of 16. It is also being proposed that all beds will be provided at the Rowan Ward in Harrogate District Hospital. Alexander House would then be used as a community-focused mental health resource centre for older people with a memory clinic and other dementia services.

The resources freed up by reducing unnecessary beds at Alexander House will enable service improvements which will ensure essential early diagnosis and home care for those living with dementia. Early diagnosis is important as it will give the person living with dementia and clinicians the best possible chance of managing the condition successfully.

Supporting people to remain in their own home by providing care in the community will also help to slow the onset of the most severe symptoms of dementia, minimising distress to the patient and their family.

Adele Coulthard, Director of Operations at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, said:

Our main priority is for local people with dementia to get the care and treatment they need. This means making sure that they are diagnosed early, are able to remain at home for as long as possible and that the support they and their families receive is tailored to their individual needs.

These proposals give us a real opportunity to do just that – to modernise services and to make them available to a wider population.


Dr Rick Sweeney, local GP and governing body member of the Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

We are committed to involving local people in our decision making and we’d like to invite people to this final public meeting to discuss the proposed changes.


The engagement period to discuss these proposals will end on 21 January 2013. In addition to attending the meeting, there are a number of other ways for people to share views with the CCG, including a survey.

Visit the CCG’s website for more details at:


The Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the new clinically-led organisation taking over responsibility for buying most of the NHS services for the Harrogate district from April 2013.

· These services include hospital, community and mental health services.

· The CCG covers a population of around 160,000 and represents 19 GP practices.

· The CCG’s commissioning budget for 2013/14 is around £173 million

· Dr Alistair Ingram, a Harrogate-based GP, is the Clinical Chair of the CCG. Dr Ingram is part of the CCG’s Governing Body comprising a number of other local GPs, health professionals and lay members.


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