Dundee’s Royal Victoria Hospital Faces Elderly Care Wards Closure

Dundee’s Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) faces plans for wards used to care for the elderly to be closed.

The news has already been confirmed by the authorities, with information on the subject having been distributed among staff.

Wards three and six, containing 22 beds at the West End hospital will undergo a “phased retraction”.

Managers have cited organisational changes as the reason behind the move, asserting that the quality of care offered to patients will not diminish.

This latest decision follows an incident earlier this year when patients were moved to Ward 3 following the closure of Ward 2 by NHS Tayside.

Ward four will also be changed from an elderly male rehab ward to become a unit to care for stroke patients, as part of the new plans.

The new organisation of the hospital is expected it to be approved at a meeting of the Dundee Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board.

Dr Douglas Lowdon, clinical lead for medicine for the elderly at the Royal Victoria Hospital, argued that the decision is a positive step for health care at the hospital, and will lead to a more coherent organisation.

“99% of doctors, nurses and social workers involved in patient pathways” are in favour of the move, Lowdon opined.

But many workers have suggested publicly that the news is terrible for both staff and patients at the facility.

West End councillor Fraser Macpherson spoke on the subject, outlining the worries of healthcare professionals currently working at the institution.

“The obvious concern is what provision is being made for elderly people in wards three and six? That’s my immediate concern. I’m concerned for staff resource as well, what’s being proposed for staff and patients? There seems to be a lack of consultation with NHS Tayside. I only find out about things when other people tell me. I will be writing to NHS Tayside chief executive Lesley McLay to seek clarification and assurances on this subject.”

However, Diane McCulloch, head of Community Health and Care Services at Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership, suggested that the board is fully committed to delivering the best healthcare possible for the community.

“Wards three and six at Royal Victoria Hospital are transitional care wards which accommodate both people who are not medically stable enough to be discharged, and those who are fit for discharge and for whom arrangements are being made in order that they can return to living at home or in the community.”

McCulloch went on to explain the ethos behind the reorganisation.

“These developments to provide more community-based services means that it is now proposed that patients from the transitional care wards will access services within the rehabilitation and assessment wards at RVH. It is therefore proposed a phased retraction of the two transitional wards will take place over the next few months beginning in April and the beds will be accommodated across both the inpatient and community settings.”


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