Changes planned to dementia care in North Yorkshire
A major revamp of the provision of services for dementia patients in North Yorkshire is being considered by health officials.
Day services in Harrogate, Ripon and Knaresborough are under review after a drop in the number of patients.
The long-term future of Alexander House inpatient service in Knaresborough is also being considered.
The Alzheimer's Society said any changes to dementia services should be handled sensitively.
The Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust took over responsibility for mental health services in Harrogate, Hambleton and Richmondshire in June 2011.
In a briefing document about the changes, it said: "There was an increasing acknowledgement of the need to remodel all mental health services for older people in Harrogate.
"This will include considering the long-term future of the Alexander House inpatient service."
The paper says that officials at the trust have agreed to approach health commissioners "with a view to commencing a formal consultation process about the proposed closure of the inpatient services provided at Alexander House".
But the proposals also include an investment of £3.5m in the Springwood unit at Malton Hospital which would be upgraded to provide a 14-bed unit for the county.
Andrew Chidgey, the director of External Affairs at the Alzheimer's Society, said: "Proposed service changes can be worrying for anyone and this is particularly true for people with dementia.
"It is therefore essential that any change to dementia services is handled sensitively and the needs of people with dementia are at the heart of any decisions made.
"There are over 64,000 people with dementia in Yorkshire and the Humber and this is expected to rise to over 83,000 by 2021.
"It is important that services in the area are sufficient to meet the needs of people in all stages of the condition and to help them live a good quality of life."