Dementia friendly communities in Dorset

ContactJane Brennan, Principal Programme Lead - Review, Design and Delivery, NHS Dorset CCG
Telephone01305 368919
AddressVespasian House, Bridport Road, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1TS

This project will develop Dementia friendly communities across Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole, increasing public awareness of dementia and assisting people with dementia to remain independent and to have choice and control over their lives.

This programme will adopt and learn from existing innovations and developments of Dementia Friendly Communities such as those in Devon, Plymouth and York. Taking a similar approach we will utilise the existing systems and relationships between health and social care professionals, community leaders, people with dementia and their families/carers within the thirteen clinical commissioning locality groups across Dorset, Bournemouth and. The emphasis will be on making best use of the facilities and organizations which already exist in communities such as, community groups, churches, businesses, schools and voluntary bodies. Additionally links will be formed with local health and social care services such as Memory Advisors whom provide support, advice and signposting to people with dementia, Memory Assessment Services, locality based domiciliary care providers, reablement services and also the Partnership for Older People Programme

Dorset is uniquely placed to successfully develop Dementia friendly communities on account of the:

  • widespread rural communities which have historically worked at being self-supporting.
  • the more recent award winning Partnership for Older People Programmes (POPP) in Dorset and Poole which have further added to the strong sense of community.
  • the low incidence of dementia diagnosis which prompts and encourages radical solutions to be found to engage the community with the health and social care economy
  • a commitment to partnership approaches across health, social care, education and voluntary sectors
  • recognition and commitment from Dorset CCG of the importance of dementia and the need to improve services.


  • dementia training and awareness sessions co-produced by people affected by dementia and delivered through different media, such as interactive training sessions, social media, DVDs and website pages.
  • business sign up to the Dorset Action Plan and commitment to incorporating dementia awareness training as part of their routine staff induction programmes
    identify and encourage minority groups to develop community owned sustainable dementia resources
  • local Dementia Action Alliances comprising local organisations from across the charity, public and private sector who come together to improve the lives of people with dementia in their own communities
  • a team of Dementia Action Alliance project workers to raise awareness of dementia within communities, identify local volunteer coordinators and highlight the benefits of being dementia friendly for GPs, hospitals, care homes and care settings, local businesses, schools and colleges, shops, faith groups, social and sports clubs, pubs, town centre managers etc

The initial pilots will be in, Blandford; Highcliffe, Wimborne; Bridport; Dorchester; Swanage; Weymouth; Poole and Bournemouth. These areas have been chosen based on population and potential impact of the programme. The programme will be delivered by a number of staff working a variety of part-time hours that reflect the populations covered by the programme. The staff will be linked in to existing health and social care teams and voluntary organizations and the POPP and Memory Advisor teams in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole.

Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI) have agreed to evaluate the outcomes for people with dementia for this programme and are a key part of this bid.
Office and ongoing costs will be found within matched funding

Anticipated outcomes

People affected by dementia:

  • improved access to local information, signposting and support relevant to enabling them to remain living within their own communities for as long as they wish
  • will have reduced stigma, which will make seeking help easier.
  • will feel valued in their own community
  • will be able to stay in their own homes for longer and be supported by their community to do so
  • will feel safe in their community
  • will enjoy where they live
  • will not be afraid to access health and social care services or go to hospital
  • will get the treatment and support best for their type of dementia
  • will be able to participate in local community activities like everyone else
  • will be able to get on a local bus or train
  • will be able to continue and maintain personal interests and activities for as long as they wish

Carers of people with dementia:

  • will be directed to specialist advice and information
  • will be able to access services that help them take a break
  • will be able to access expert advice about caring for someone with dementia
  • will be encouraged to look after their health and well being, and have access to services that help them do this.
  • will be sustained to continue to support the person with dementia to maintain their independence

Organisational outcomes:

  • Increase in diagnosis rates.
  • More carers of people with dementia on their GP’s register.
  • Rising number of carers accessing the Carers Information Service in Bournemouth and Poole.
  • Increased identification of carers
  • Community developments and innovations
  • Partnership working creating more holistic approaches to supporting people with dementia

Progress update

There is a lot of enthusiasm but we are realistic enough to know that this is not something that will happen overnight if it is to be sustainable. We are spreading the message and encouraging communities to take Living Well with Dementia in to everyday life.