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Living with Dementia

More support for dementia sufferers in Norfolk and Suffolk

  • - Dementia News
  • Jul 04, 2011
  • Comments
  • Viewed: 3207
Tags: | degree of dementia | dementia alliance | dementia awareness week | dementia care |

Two Norfolk hospitals are to receive support from a specialist team of dementia workers as part of a series of steps being taken to improve care for people with the condition in this region.

The news comes at the start of Dementia Awareness Week and as it was revealed that a snapshot look at one hospital in Norfolk found more than a quarter of all its adult patients had a degree of dementia.

And it also comes as a landmark report into the funding of long-term social care is to be published, which it is hoped will end the injustices which can force older people to sell their homes to pay for care and face a postcode lottery of varying costs and services depending on where they live.

As well as the new hospital dementia teams, 13 primary care dementia workers are currently being recruited across Norfolk. They will be qualified mental health staff, working from a number of GP surgeries to help with early assessment and diagnosis, and early treatment of dementia.

A week-long series of events will be taking place across Norfolk and Suffolk and show that the issue of dementia is a high priority to be tackled in health and social care.

Dementia is recognised as one of the biggest health and social challenges in the country, with the number of sufferers predicted to rise by 51pc within the next 15 years. But in Norfolk the number is expected to increase by 62pc in that time -  pushing the total to above 20,000 -  and in Suffolk by 65pc.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance, unveiled earlier this year, brings together some of the biggest health, social and education organisations to seek out the best research, ideas, technology and training to make East Anglia a leader, nationally and internationally, in dementia care.

As well as helping families to deal with dementia and providing better care, it aims to have a real impact in making health service money for social care go further, as well as cutting bed-blocking in hospitals.

Willie Cruickshank, of the alliance, said: “The only way to deliver dementia care properly is by working together and co-operation and we are starting to see this being done to a level that it has not been done before.

“People who are in hospital with dementia have a 44pc longer stay in hospital, because once the acute illness has been dealt with then it takes a while to get that person back home.”

Partners in the alliance include the University of East Anglia, Norfolk County Council, NHS Norfolk, NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, City College Norwich, James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Archant, publisher of the EDP.

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