Ambulance service launches new dementia strategy for Thurrock

AN ambitious strategy has been launched by the region’s ambulance service to improve the care and experience for people with dementia.

Bosses at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) say it will develop a skilled and effective workforce able to champion compassionate person-centred care and recognise the early signs of dementia.

And it has pledged to become a dementia-friendly organisation.

The strategy was launched at the latest Board meeting in public yesterday (Wednesday 30th November), by one of the service’s area clinical leads Duncan Moore, with support from the Alzheimer’s Society.

It’s been implemented to support the Government’s National Dementia Strategy to ensure all people living with dementia and their carers should live well with dementia. Dementia is incurable and symptoms can include severe memory loss, mood and personality changes and behaviour that challenges others such as serious confusion, agitation and aggression.

The work over three years will be done in partnership with charities and health and social care statutory dementia care providers, as well as clinical commissioning groups and voluntary organisations.

Duncan said the collaborations will aid and support the work and contribute to improving the health and outcomes of those with dementia, and their carers: “Dementia is one of the greatest challenges facing our ageing society – there are more than 82,500 people in the East of England living with a diagnosis of dementia.

“Our patient transport services routinely work with people living with dementia, and of course we have to make emergency responses in the community to affected families and individuals so in our capacity as an ambulance service and seeing people living with dementia every single day we needed to put it at the centre of our work. It’s the right thing for us to put a massive emphasis on developing our organisation to become dementia-friendly.”

The strategy can be found here. For more information on living with dementia, visit https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/ or https://www.dementiauk.org/

There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK; by 2021 there will be more than one million. (Dementia UK – Update Report, Alzheimer’s Society, 2014)

Dementia is a collective term for diseases of the brain that can affect reasoning, perception and memory (Banerjee 2009). Dementia is progressive and there is no known cure. It predominantly affects older adults with 7.1% (Dementia UK Update report, Alzheimer’s Society, 2014). This is 1 in 14 people over the age of 65. Within acute hospitals, older adults occupy 60% of all beds and 40% of those are considered likely to have a dementia diagnosis (NAO 2007).

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