Dementia signposting service in Swindon

ContactCara Elkin, Learning and Development Manager, Swindon CCG
Telephone01793 708820
AddressFloor five, David Murray John Tower, Brunel Centre, Swindon, SN1 1LH

What is being done?
Several activities are underway to improve understanding and recognition of dementia in the local health and social care workforce, and to support carers.

Alzheimer’s Society have been commissioned to deliver an information and signposting service to people with dementia, their carers and staff within Swindon hospital.

Dementia awareness is embedded within existing training: Induction, Mandatory training courses (e.g. manual handling), Safeguarding and deprivation of liberty.

New role and function
The Alzheimer’s Society information and signposting service is a new development. It is run by a volunteer and is part of the overall carers information services which operates at the hospital. The volunteer is on hand to answer questions, provide informal support and also guidance to staff, carers and people with dementia on where they can get further information and support. Until recently this service was generic across any condition, but the additional focus on dementia is helping to raise awareness amongst staff of what can help people with dementia, as well as reassuring carers and patients.

Embedding dementia awareness works by including examples of how to work with people with dementia within the training courses. It was recognised that releasing staff to attend dementia specific training may be difficult, but as all staff have to attend mandatory training it makes sense to use that opportunity to raise their awareness of dementia. So examples of working with people with dementia can be used to illustrate not only the main purpose of the course (e.g. moving someone safely) but also some of the important points about working with people with dementia (e.g. managing behaviour that challenges us). In this way, the training is more efficient in addressing a range of learning needs.

What has been achieved?
The increased signposting and support has enabled the discharge of patients with dementia to be planned and supported by all involved.

The awareness training that has been delivered within the local health economy has ensured that the diagnostic gap has been improved and maintained throughout 2010.