'Extremely concerned' - Sussex dementia charity responds to reports that trust is planning to close assessment and diagnosis services

A major Sussex charity – which brings high quality support to those living with dementia and their families – said it was 'extremely concerned' at reports that The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will temporarily be closing its dementia assessment and diagnosis services after Christmas.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The trust yesterday refused to confirm or deny the report from trusted sources at this website despite being given the opportunity to do so.

Today, Sussex World approached Sally Tabbner, Chief Executive of Dementia Support at Sage House in Tangmere near Chichester, for her reaction.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She said: "As an independent charity we are extremely concerned about how this will impact local people.

The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is based just off the A27 at Worthing. Picture: Eddie MitchellThe Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is based just off the A27 at Worthing. Picture: Eddie Mitchell
The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is based just off the A27 at Worthing. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

"We want to be clear that the charity will continue to operate and increase our dementia services as we can throughout this time.

"This time of the year especially, is when families get together and notice changes in the health of a family member or friend. Noticing a change in personality, behaviour, or memory loss in a loved one, is often the first step towards approaching the NHS for a diagnosis and we know it will be a worrying time if the services are not available for three months.

"Getting a timely diagnosis of dementia can give you a better understanding of the condition, what to expect and can help you make important decisions about treatment, support and care.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"At Sage House our mission is to help and support people to navigate the entire journey of dementia, both PRE- and post-diagnosis, and we also assist family, friends and carers – you do not need a referral from a Health Professional.

"We would actively encourage anyone in West Sussex with worries or concerns to get in touch with our free of charge Wayfinding Service, whether they have a diagnosis or not. There are also many helpful resources and information available on our website at

The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was asked on Friday, December 8 by Sussex World if it could confirm reports that services will no longer be provided by the trust from January to March 2024 because of 'financial deficit'.

A spokesperson replied: “Work’s underway across the NHS in Sussex to maintain emergency and urgent care services, with patient safety being our top priority.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"To manage resources effectively, as we approach the busy Christmas and New Year period, some of our services will be temporarily reduced or changed to allow staff to be redeployed to other services so they can remain safe and be of the highest quality for our patients.

"We are in the process of developing plans and engaging with our staff.”

When asked to clarify what the future was for the dementia services, a trust spokesperson added: “We are not providing any other response.”

The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides mental health, learning disability and neurodevelopmental services to people living in south east England.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Its services are for children, young people, adults of working age and older people. The trust provides care in a range of locations including people’s own homes, specialist clinics, hospitals, low and medium secure units and GP surgeries.

The trust provides care at facilities across Sussex – Highdown in Worthing; Swandean in Worthing; Chapel Street in Chichester; the Bedale Centre in Bognor; Pepperville House in Littlehampton; Crawley Hospital; New Park House in Horsham; Linwood in Haywards Heath and Uckfield Hospital.

Dementia Support, based at Sage House is a bespoke, modern and functional community hub where they bring local dementia support services together under one roof. They provide the latest support, information, advice and activities to those living with dementia and their families.

The charity’s Wayfinding Service allows everyone entering Sage House to talk to a professional for essential one-to-one support and advice. A familiar and friendly face will always be available to support people living with dementia, their families, friends and carers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As well as providing Wayfinding to help guide families through their personal dementia journeys, the volunteers also offer:- Day Breaks - respite day care for people living with dementia- Activities - for people with dementia and their carers- Support Groups - training programmes for carers and businesses- Personal Care - assisted bathing, foot care and massage- Hairdressing Salon - dementia friendly hair specialists- Smart Zone - innovative technology to help ease daily tasks- Daisy's Café - community spaces serving hot and cold food & drinks