Dementia friendly communities

New plan unveiled to support people with dementia to live well

Local health and social care leaders together with voluntary sector organisations in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) have unveiled new plans for supporting people with dementia and their carers.

In the UK, one person develops dementia every three minutes. In Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, there are more than 13,000 people living with dementia which is expected to rise in the coming years. Yet too many people living with dementia face the condition alone and excluded from society.

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland’s Living Well with Dementia Strategy 2019-22 sets out a vision to help people to live well with dementia. The strategy is informed by what people have said about their experiences either as a person living with dementia or as a carer. It is written for people with memory concerns, those with a dementia diagnosis, their families and carers and the organisations supporting them. An important focus of the strategy is to move towards delivery of personalised and integrated care.

Dr Girish Purohit, local GP at East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Dementia Lead for LLR, said: “For many people, the person living with dementia could be their close relative, friend, or indeed themselves. It is really important for them to see their GP if they suspect they or somebody they are close to may have dementia.

“An important focus of the strategy that we’ve launched today is to move towards delivery of personalised and integrated care. This approach will help us to improve access and diagnosis for all patients, particularly those from Black and Asian communities and other seldom heard groups, who are currently not accessing services because their needs may be slightly different.

“Working with colleagues in Leicester city, we will promote opportunities to people with dementia, particularly within these communities so that they are at the heart of how the services they access are designed and delivered to meet their needs.

“We will place those living with dementia and their carers at the centre of service development and implementation, ensuring people are able to live well with dementia.”

Councillor Vi Dempster, Leicester’s Assistant City Mayor responsible for Adult Social Care, at Leicester City Council added: “Dementia is a huge issue. There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to more than one million by 2025.

“It’s really important that we support local people who are living with dementia and their families, which is why it’s vital to have a strategy like this one, setting out what we will do to personalise the care that we provide for people. It allows us to work closely with our partners to focus our efforts on those who most need our support.”

Dementia is not a natural part of ageing and doesn’t only affect older people. More than 40,000 people in the UK who have dementia are under 65.In Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland the number of people aged under 65 and living with dementia is approximately 270.

Under the new plans and closer working between health and social care services and voluntary sector organisations, more practices will now focus on becoming dementia friendly. This will include support to practices to identify measures that should be in place to ensure that people with dementia and their carers are more easily able to access GP services and receive best quality care and support.  Patients can expect to see more information relating to dementia at their GP practice as part of the drive.

The vision is to build dementia friendly communities across LLR, which are inclusive and receptive of people living with dementia.

Dementia Strategy January 2019