Dementia patients to be moved for coronavirus beds

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A Lochgilphead dementia ward earmarked for closure by health bosses is to be cleared of patients to make way for potential coronavirus COVID-19 cases.

The move came after NHS Scotland instructed health boards and integration joint boards to reduce delayed discharges and increase bed capacity with immediate effect.

A spokesperson for NHS Highland said: ‘This has been discussed at the Gold Command across the health board, which co-ordinates the response to COVID-19 and supports the need for immediate capacity and to delay the spread of COVID-19 amongst the population.

‘As a result, the Knapdale Ward within Mid Argyll hospital in Lochgilphead has been designated for potential COVID-19 patients. This ward is currently a dementia assessment ward and the patients who are being cared for within Knapdale will be provided with alternative care arrangements.

‘This decision has been taken in light of the demand for bed capacity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and we have been working with the families of the patients about the change to their care arrangements.’

In due course Knapdale Ward, opened with the new hospital just 14 years ago, is to be closed as part of a move to enhanced dementia care in the community after a decision by Argyll and Bute Integration Joint Board at a meeting on Wednesday March 25.