Stoke & Staffordshire

Plans unveiled for £100m Staffordshire dementia centres

Plans to spend £100m to build seven new dementia care "centres of excellence" in Staffordshire, have been revealed by the county council.

It said the units would be built on sites across the county, but it had not decided on the exact locations.

The authority said it was looking for a partner from the private, voluntary or independent sector to run the centres.

But the Unison union said it was worried changes to dementia services could affect care quality.

Steve Elsey, from Unison, said: "We're concerned that standards of care could be affected when you bring in private sector profit elements."

"At the moment care is delivered on the basis that it's the best that can be delivered for the money but when you bring in a profit element that changes the equation somewhere."

'Through-life care'

The county council said it had managed to attract about £300m worth of external investment over the last three years which had "provided more services for people with health challenges."

Councillor Matthew Ellis, cabinet member for adult wellbeing, said: "All I want is to have the best services for Staffordshire.

"If we can do that without putting the emphasis on the tax payer fully to actually provide them, so if we can get external investment, this will put Staffordshire families in a better place than any other part of the UK."

The council said the dementia units would be "centres of excellence that would provide through-life care for patients".

It said they would reduce the need for people to be transferred from residential care to specialist units, as their health declines.

Consultation on the plans has begun with dementia service staff, patients and their carers, the authority said.

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