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Agenda item

Update on the development of the joint dementia strategy commitments and the commissioning plan for dementia

Joint report of Dawn Walton, Director: Commissioning, Inclusion and Learning and Brian Hughes, Director of Commissioning and Performance, Deputy Accountable Officer.



The Committee received a report written by Dawn Walton (Director, Commissioning, Inclusion and Learning, Sheffield City Council) and Brian Hughes (Director of Commissioning and Performance, Deputy Accountable Officer, Sheffield CCG), which summarised the progress in developing a joint city strategy for dementia, the current commissioning plan achievements and some detail about the dementia friendly communities work.




Present for this item were Nicola Shearstone (Head of Commissioning for Prevention and Early Intervention, Sheffield City Council), Heather Burns (Head of Commissioning, Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Dementia Commissioning, NHS Sheffield CCG) and Kath Horner (Sheffield Dementia Action Alliance).




Nicola Shearstone introduced the report and stated that dementia was a broad term used to describe neurological disorders, alzheimers being the most common type, between 60% to 70%, vascular dementia accounting for approximately 20% of sufferers, although vascular disease can be prevented with the reduction in smoking and obesity levels.  In Sheffield, there are approximately 7,000 people suffering with some form of dementia, aged 65+, which accounts for 1.2% of the city’s population and the prediction was that this could rise to 10% by the year 2035.  It was acknowledged that Sheffield was very good at recognising the symptoms of dementia, the best out of all the core cities, and nationally has a significantly higher rate of emergency admissions into hospital.  The Sheffield Dementia Strategy took place over 12 months and the outcome was very encouraging and positive especially around joint working and the desire to help people with dementia and their families. There are 13 commitments which form part of the strategy, starting with prevention through to end of life and looking at ways of how to support carers.  A Project Officer has been recruited to look at ways to identify and take forward the priorities to help those with dementia and support for their families.




Kath Horner stated that there are over 10,000 volunteer Dementia Friends Champions encouraging people to learn a little bit more about dementia. Champions are trained and supported to run information sessions in their community and help inspire others to help those living with dementia live well.




Members made various comments and asked a number of questions, to which  responses were provided as follows:-




·                     The aim was for improved working across systems to offer people in Sheffield dementia support which will become personalised, local and accessible to help to remain independent for as long as possible.  Information regarding this was available, but people living with dementia and their families/carers are not always empowered to know where to seek such information, advice and help.




·                     Part of the strategy aims to offer local support and activities for people with dementia and their families and that support is tailored to the local community, with every person diagnosed by the memory service having a contact within that community, and then proactive follow up contact  within six months, recognising that people’s support needs change over time.




·                     The Sheffield Teaching Hospitals are working together with the Dementia Care Group to develop improved co-ordination and quality of support to those faced with crisis situations which could ultimately lead to admission to longer term care or hospitalisation.




·                     It was hoped that by creating dementia friendly communities, the stigma some patients associate with dementia could be reduced and environments become more conducive and accommodating and ensure people understand and use approaches which make people with dementia feel accepted and safe.




·                     In conjunction with GP surgeries in the south east of the city,  to better support people with dementia and their carers live well at home, visits to patients in their homes and follow-up visits has been trialled.




·                     Day activities are a different offer to day care – and take a different approach to meet individual needs.  Change is difficult to accept and dementia patients push back against this, but it has been found that patients with cognitive decline thrive when they are engaged and have a set routine to follow. Good evaluation around these projects is essential so that success in the city can be measured.




·                     Work is ongoing with Public Health to develop a set of measures that will demonstrate how well we are progressing on the commitments within the strategy.




RESOLVED: That the Committee:-




(a)       thanks Nicola Shearstone, Heather Burns and Kath Horner for their contribution to the meeting;




(b)       notes the contents of the report and the responses to the questions;




(c)        asks that population figures re dementia prevalence are circulated to members of the Committee;




(d)       is pleased to note that a face to face approach to navigation is being used, recognising that online and internet support and information aren’t suitable for everyone;




(e)       is pleased to note that People Keeping Well partnerships are now required to proactively offer support at regular intervals following a dementia diagnosis;




(f)        is pleased to note that support is moving away from day care and services based on institutions and into day activities and flexible services based on people’s needs;




(g)       recognises that carers are central to this work; and




(h)       is keen to hear more about evaluation of Dementia Friendly Sheffield and requests that the link be sent to the Policy and Improvement Officer.


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