NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG have signed up to become ‘Dementia Friends’ and are well on their way to reaching their target after gaining some training from the top doctor who is leading this work.
Both CCGs are working towards being ‘dementia friendly’ with 100 reception staff at Sefton GP practices already having received the training. In addition, a group of staff at the CCGs’ offices received training from the National Clinical Director for Dementia at NHS England, Alistair Burns.
He said: “It was fantastic to be here and I was delighted to meet with so many people at the CCG. It was good to hear about the work they are already doing to improve dementia diagnosis rates in Sefton and the post diagnosis support that they are offering to patients.
“I was really impressed with the enthusiasm and energy in the room and thoroughly enjoyed the session which so many people attended. It is good news to hear that the CCG are amongst the few CCGs who have signed up to become dementia friendly. It is so important to raise as much awareness as we can and with their partners I’m sure the message will be spread far and wide.”
The CCGs’ have signed a pledge with Sefton Dementia Action Alliance (DAA), supporting the national movement to bring about a society wide response to dementia. The Sefton DAA is made up of organisations in the borough who aim to work together to radically improve the lives of people living with dementia and their carers. Its official launch in Sefton is in Dementia Awareness Week on Wednesday 18th May.
Part of the CCGs’ action plan in the alliance is to raise awareness about dementia in the community and to encourage member practices and providers to become dementia friends, which they have both started working on.
Fiona Taylor, chief officer at both CCGs, said: “Dementia is a priority area for both CCGs which is why the training was important to us. At the session when staff were asked if anyone in the room knew someone with dementia, of course, over half the room lifted their hands. We were asked to make a pledge and on behalf of the CCG I am keen to spread the word on dementia and whilst we’ve work to do to improve care and the diagnosis rate, I am really pleased that the CCGs are becoming dementia friendly and that we are part of the alliance, which is so important for Sefton.
“Dementia is of interest to everyone, not only on a personal level but on a professional one as well. It’s so important that people understand how someone with dementia may feel in certain situations. Thanks to Alistair for running the session for us, I’m sure we’ll all wear our badges proudly.
“Small changes to the way our society, communities, shops and businesses are run can make a huge difference to people with dementia. By improving awareness and having a greater understanding of dementia we can hopefully make a real difference to those living with dementia and their carers.”
A Dementia Friend learns a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action – anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend. Whether you attend a face to face Dementia Friends Information Session or watch their online video, Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. From telling friends about Dementia Friends to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts.
For more information visit: www.dementiafriends.org.uk
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