The proposal to close the Netherwood centre is wrong-headed
13 April, 2017
Kilburn ward councillors Douglas Beattie, Maryam Eslamdoust and Thomas Gardiner outside Netherwood
• I AGREE with the view that there is a need for changes in the structure of services for older people in Camden. The present structure is clearly inefficient and does not involve the best use of resources.
However the proposal to shut the Netherwood and Raglan Street day centres for people living with dementia is counter-productive and will not result in improved efficiency. In particular the proposal to shut Netherwood is wrong-headed.
Netherwood was purpose built to deliver a service for people living with dementia. As the consultant psychiatrist for older people for North Camden (1981-2000) I showed the centre to professionals from all over the world who were incredibly impressed by the centre and the work they were doing.
The reason it is under-utilised probably relates entirely to the fact that social workers are reluctant to refer patients because of the expense.
A much better solution would involve making Netherwood the single dementia day centre in Camden and closing Raglan Street. This is in line with the proposal made by the Kilburn ward councillors reported in the New Journal, (Rebel Labour councillors say the Town Hall can save the Netherwood Centre, April 6).
Dr NORI GRAHAM FRCPsych
Vice-President & former chair, Alzheimer’s Society
& Alzheimer’s Disease International