Group gets £500k to boost dementia care

Bicester Advertiser: Douglas Harbour and wife Linda Douglas Harbour and wife Linda

DEMENTIA carers have welcomed half-a-million pound plans to raise awareness of sufferers’ needs.

The body which will soon be responsible for Oxfordshire’s healthcare was awarded nearly £500,000 to help boost dementia care in Oxfordshire.

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG), which is made up of GPs from the county’s 83 practices, has been given the money to support four dementia projects.

Douglas Harbour, 66, from Wallingford, a full-time carer for his wife Linda, who has dementia, welcomed the news.

He said: “People in all walks of life will meet up with those suffering from dementia and it is important for them to have a basic grasp on how to behave with them.

“For instance if you are at a check-out in a supermarket and the dementia sufferer picks up an item of shopping and puts it straight in a bag.

“This has happened recently to us but fortunately I have been there so there has been no problem.”

The £447,000 cash boost will provide specialist training for carers, health and social care staff, as well as making sure the quality of care in Oxfordshire’s care homes is consistent.

Campaigns will also be funded to teach members of the public about dementia.

OCCG was formed after the Government announced plans in the Health and Social Care Bill to hand over commissioning power to clinicians.

The bill, which became an act in March, sees the power handed from local Primary Care Trusts to GPs, nurses and doctors.

At the moment there are 7,086 people with dementia in Oxfordshire, with the highest number in rural areas.

The cash comes from NHS South of England’s £10m Dementia Challenge Fund which was launched in May.

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Fenella Trevillion, assistant director for older people at OCCG, said: “Improving care for people with dementia is a key priority for us, so we are excited about this opportunity to use this one-off funding.”

FOUR PROJECTS

  • Creating a network of 60 dementia0friendly towns, villages or urban areas where residents are given training and support to help people with dementia.
  • Extra training to develop dementia expertise among GPs and surgery staff to help them manage the condition as part of an overall care plan.
  • Providing specialist dementia training and education for carers and health and social care staff to help people with dementia live independently.
  • Creating a “personalised” service for people with dementia who are in care homes or hospitals but who also have other physical and mental needs.

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