CCG supports Dementia Awareness Week
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This includes assessment and treatment in GP surgeries, post diagnosis support for patients and their families, a patient information and support leaflet detailing key services and organisations, a Dementia Action Alliance in Patchway and awareness roadshows.
Dr Peter Bagshaw is the Clinical Lead for Dementia for South Gloucestershire CCG, the GP-led body responsible for planning and buying healthcare for the local population. He said: “It is estimated there are 3,400 people living with dementia in South Gloucestershire and this is set to double in the next 30 years.
“The number of patients being diagnosed with dementia and receiving rapid access to medication and support has improved dramatically over the past year because of new ways of working we have put in place. There has been a huge energy and commitment around transforming care for those with memory problems in South Gloucestershire.
“We have a very successful new service involving GPs, nurses, psychologists and specialist doctors from the Memory Service. This can assess and treat people in the GP surgery, and also provides support for patients and their families.”
Dr Bagshaw said that waiting times for referrals and diagnosis rates in South Gloucestershire are better than the national average. Waiting times have reduced dramatically from 34 weeks to around six weeks, and diagnosis rates increased to 54 per cent compared to 48 to 49 per cent nationally.
An Information Prescription for GPs and others to give to people diagnosed with dementia and their family and friends has also been developed. The leaflet details key services and organisations in South Gloucestershire where people can access information and support.
It has been developed with Alzheimer’s Society, South Gloucestershire Council, Avon and Wiltshire Partnership’s Memory Service, Wellaware and the Guideposts Trust and can be found via www.southgloucestershireccg.nhs.uk and www.southglos.gov.uk
The CCG is also a key partner in the Patchway Dementia Action Alliance, which is aimed at developing a dementia-friendly community. More than 50 organisations have joined and are committed to taking specific actions to make the area more welcoming for people with dementia and their carers.
As part of the Alliance, a Memory Café, run by volunteers, has been set up for people worried about dementia and runs on the first and third Monday of every month from 10.30am until 12.30pm at Casson Centre, Rodway Road, BS34 5DQ.
The CCG also works with partner organisations to organise ‘Living Well with Dementia’ roadshows designed for people recently diagnosed with dementia, their families and carers. The next roadshow takes place from 6pm until 8.30pm on Thursday, June 26 at BAWA Health & Leisure in Filton.
Dr Bagshaw added: “Being diagnosed with dementia can leave the person and their family with lots of questions about what they can expect and what they can do to plan for the future. The roadshows provide useful information to help answer these questions and give reassurance that people with dementia are not on their own.
“As well as continuing to improve services and support, we must all work to reduce the stigma around dementia and encourage people to go to their GP for early diagnosis. If you think you have problems with your memory, just have a conversation with your GP. An early diagnosis means that we can start to help. We can offer medication and provide patients, their families and carers access to a wide range of support services in the community to improve their quality of life.”
South Gloucestershire Council has worked with Alzheimer’s Society, people with dementia and their partners to produce a video about living well with dementia.
Denise Swain, Strategy and Partnership Manager for South Gloucestershire Council, said: “The people telling their personal stories in the film echo the benefits of early diagnosis to individuals and their families, so that they can begin to understand what’s happening to them and how to approach things.
“They also stress how much support groups and programmes have helped them emotionally and practically, through sharing experiences and swapping tips. The over-riding message from the film is ‘you can enjoy a good life with dementia – it’s not the end of the world’.”
The video can be found via http://youtu.be/A094lAujTtg
For details of all the Living Well with Dementia roadshows and to book a place online, please call 01454 862356 or visit www.southglos.gov.uk/dementia
Organised by Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Awareness Week runs from May 18 – 24, 2014 and its theme is all about opening up. The charity wants anyone concerned about dementia to stop bottling it up and talk to someone.
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