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Inpatient Dementia Services public consultation launch

30th September 2022

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has launched a three month public consultation on the future provision of Inpatient Dementia Services in the Trust area.

The proposed future service model would see the creation of a specialist inpatient dementia unit within the Bluestone Mental Health unit on the Craigavon Area Hospital site.

The Southern Trust had a stand-alone inpatient dementia assessment and treatment unit on the Gillis Ward, St Luke’s Hospital, Armagh. In May 2022, patients in Gillis Ward were relocated to Willows ward, Bluestone Unit, Craigavon Area Hospital as an interim contingency arrangement to ensure patient safety and quality of care when dedicated Consultant Psychiatry cover could not be secured.

The consultation opens on 3 October 2022 and closes on 23 December 2022.

Jan Mc Gall, Director of Mental Health and Disability, commenting on the consultation said:

“The main issues driving the review of inpatient dementia service relates to safe and effective patient care and service sustainability given the local and regional pressures in recruiting Consultants in Psychiatry of Old Age.

Jan continued “By 2032, The Southern Trust is expected to have the highest number of individuals registered with dementia over 65*. We need to make changes now that will ensure we can continue to provide safe and effective care for these vulnerable patients into the future. The creation of a specialist  inpatient dementia unit, co-located with the wider Mental Health and Disability Inpatient Service at the Bluestone Unit, Craigavon Hospital, will offer increased access to medical and wider multi-disciplinary teams in one location and ensure safe, sustainable services for the Southern Trust population.

We welcome the public’s views on these proposals, as we work towards making changes to these services next year.”

Full consultation documents, and details for how to respond, are available on the Trust’s website or by phoning 028 37564819 or emailing

*Source: NISRA 2018 population projections