Networks with Outside Sources of Expertise
The network of formal and informal links that Vale House has established with local specialist resources to support the complex needs of its residents was commended as exemplary in the 2008 report (‘Creative Partnerships’) of the National Council for Palliative Care.
Among these outside sources of consultation and help are speech and language therapists (for difficulties in swallowing), tissue viability nurses (preventing skin and pressure problems), the Orthopaedic Centre (for advice on spasticity, appropriate seating and wheelchairs), continence advisors, nutritional advice, and many others.
Medical care for the residents is provided through regular visits from a local general practitioner. Psychiatric advice and reviews of care are provided by the sector consultant psychiatrist from the local Department of Psychiatry of Old Age.
Little medication is normally needed for the residents, apart from that for diabetes or other pre-existing diseases, but for advice on the relief of pain or other symptoms towards the end of life, we can also call on help from the local hospice and district nurses.