Dementia Services Review
At the end of 2016, for a 9 week period, we asked you what you thought of dementia services in Dorset. We wanted to know what is working well, what isn’t working well and what could be improved.
We were collecting feedback about services which are are specifically accessed due to memory loss or dementia. These services may include:
The Memory Assessment Service
The Memory Support and Advisory Service
Care whilst in hospital
Community mental health teams
Dementia respite care
Care homes that care for people with dementia
Care at home
We want to make sure that dementia services help people to maintain their independence, choice and control over their lives.
This is a joint project between the local authorities and the NHS in Dorset.
How did we collect feedback?
Here are some of the ways we went about finding out what you think:
We had an information leaflet and Freepost survey, which was available in public locations such as your GP surgery and libraries.
We had an online survey, which was the most popular method for people wanting to give their views.
We also held public workshops across Dorset.
We liaised with dementia groups and organisations.
We worked closely with the hospitals, other dementia organisations and local authorities to reach as many interested people as possible.
We spoke to staff groups so they were able to give their views in Dorset HealthCare including Alderney and Westhaven hospitals, District Nursing teams and Social Services teams.
What happens now?
The next stage of the review will be developing options for how services might be organised better. These options will then be available for the public to consult on.
Living well with Dementia
The ‘Living Well with Dementia’ Action Plan outlines the progress and actions of the Dorset Dementia Partnership over the past year and a half, since the Memory Gateway Service was introduced in September 2014.
The Memory Gateway Service is used by GPs in Dorset to help diagnose and support people with dementia. It links with the Memory Support and Advisory Service, which is commissioned by the NHS Dorset CCG and provided by the Alzheimer’s Society, and the Memory Assessment Service provided by Dorset Health Care.
So far, over 4000 people have had support through these services and dementia diagnosis rates have increased to over 62.2%.
Dr Paul French, Dementia Lead in Dorset says “We are pleased with the outcomes so far. We have been able to offer GPs another option to support their patients to live well and independently for as long as possible. We will continue to work in partnership with organisations across Dorset to further improve dementia care.”
The Dorset Dementia Partnership is made up of people who represent different organisations across health and social care, such as the local authorities. It also includes, amongst others, employees of the fire brigade and the police, as well as people living with dementia and their carers. This partnership informs the dementia programme led by the NHS Dorset CCG.
Anyone concerned about their memory is encouraged to talk to their GP. Or call the Dorset Memory Support and Advisory Service on 0300 123 1916 to speak to a trained advisor from the Alzheimer’s Society or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Memory Support and Advice Service
The service is designed for anyone with memory loss or diagnosed with dementia and their carers across the whole of Dorset. People are able to refer themselves if they want to. It will ensure they get the local support from services they need to allow them to live well with dementia.
People going through the diagnosis process will be supported by a memory advisor to provide them with consistent support.
The new service will be provided by Alzheimer’s Society across Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset and will replace the current services.
Memory Advisors will work closely with GPs, the team that diagnose dementia and other partner organisations who provide complementary services to ensure people are supported throughout their journey.
What support services will be available?
Alzheimer’s Society will be increasing the number of support and social groups it runs for people with dementia and carers. They will be looking to tailor these to the needs of people in each area. Services will include:
Training for carers
Pop up groups for people living with dementia and carers
They will also continue to support the creation of dementia friendly communities which have so far made a big impact in a number of communities in Dorset
Thoughts on the service
We are pleased to be working together with our local authority partners and Alzheimer’s Society to provide this new service. We are investing in this service as it is estimated that there are over 13,000 people affected by dementia in Dorset, and that figure is set to rise. It is important to offer another option to help GPs to support their patients to live well and independently for as long as possible, and also support the unsung heroes, their carers.
We are thrilled to be delivering this service for people with memory loss or dementia and their carers. Time and again people tell us how frustrating it is having to re-tell their story to many different agencies and support organisations. This new Memory Support and Advisory Service will alleviate that burden for people and enable them to live well with dementia.
We want to reassure anyone currently using one of the memory support services in Dorset that they will continue to be supported by the new service.
This type of service would have made a big difference to our lives when we received the diagnosis of dementia. It’s not always easy to know who to talk to about this issue and it is tiring at a time when there is already a lot to deal with.