NorthWestern Mental Health has announced today that it plans to close Westside Lodge residential aged care facility.
Statement to be attributed to NorthWestern Mental Health Executive Director, Associate Director, Professor Ruth Vine.
This decision has not been taken lightly. NorthWestern Mental Health has provided residential care services at Westside Lodge for many years and has always been proud of the exceptional services and high quality care by its staff to our residents.
Westside Lodge, a 30-bed specialised service for aged mental health residents, originally opened in 1988 as part of the decommissioning program of large psychiatric institutions in metropolitan Melbourne.
NorthWestern Mental Health will continue to provide specialised aged mental health residential care in its other facilities. However, significant reform in the aged care sector has resulted in many services provided by similar facilities, like Westside Lodge, now available in mainstream aged care residential homes. As such Westside Lodge has experienced a significant vacancy rate. Westside Lodge is also dated in amenity and not in keeping with contemporary expectations of standards of living for residential care.
We believe that we can meet the demand for specialist aged mental health care places within the remaining facilities. NorthWestern Mental Health currently operates two other specialist mental health aged persons residential facilities and two mainstream residential aged care facilities, a total of 137 beds.
Our priority is the care and safety of our residents and staff at Westside Lodge and we will be working with the residents and their families to find suitable alternative accommodation of their choosing. It is anticipated that Westside Lodge will be closed by October 2016.