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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 14:31 GMT
Hospital ward cuts under scrutiny
Concerns have been raised over plans to reduce the number of beds available for people in Leicestershire who have Alzheimer's disease.

A primary trust is proposing the closure of a ward in either Coalville or Loughborough as part of a drive to cut costs.

But Charnwood and North West Leics Primary Care Trust has said a final decision has not been made.

Families of those receiving care at the facilities are fighting the move.

Betty Peberdy, 76, from Sileby, spends half her time at the Loughborough ward, while the rest of the time, she is cared for by her husband.

Future provision

She made her name in the 1950s as one of the country's first woman saxophonists and toured the world with many of the top names from the Big Band era.

Her husband Jack said his wife would not be able to cope if she was forced to go elsewhere.

The trust said each ward has 24 beds, but not all the beds are always in use.

Director of continuing care and older people Carol Wileman said: "No firm decisions have yet been made about the future provision of mental health beds in our community hospitals.

"Our aim always is to provide effective, safe services for our patients and we must ensure that they are provided in a cost-effective way.

"Given the financial pressures we face we are working to identify areas where services can be provided more efficiently."

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