Setting up a new dementia service

Published Friday, 6 November 2015

A major initiative for a service to help residents diagnosed with dementia and their family, friends and carers, called the Bromley Dementia Hub, will be launched next spring.

The aim is to give those living with the condition in the borough a clear and simple pathway of care and support they can follow so they get early information, advice, guidance and practical support. This is a joint initiative between Bromley Council and NHS Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) and was agreed at the council’s recent Executive meeting.  The service will be commissioned by the council.

Bromley is known to have the highest number of people with dementia in London and improving the care and experience of those living with dementia is a key health and social care priority for the council, BCCG and its partners.  The aim of the new service will be to support people to live well with dementia by giving them and their family members and carers, access to specialised and expert advice, guidance and practical support.  

The new initiative will seek to build on the existing work of dementia-specialist organisations that already have a strong presence in the borough including the Alzheimer’s Society; Bromley and Lewisham Mind; Age UK Bromley and Greenwich as well as the expertise of Carers Bromley in working with carers.  It will be an important part of providing early intervention and focus on maintaining independence in the community and will include: a dementia advice service as a first point of contact for those newly diagnosed; a helpline; support with care planning; high quality information and advice; extended training for family and friends to support them in their important role; and support for people, including family and friends, at an early point in the diagnosis to meet and engage with others through Dementia cafes, groups and activities across the borough.  

Said Councillor Robert Evans, Executive Councillor for Care Services: 

“Early diagnosis is known to help people and their carers live well with dementia.  In developing this post-diagnosis service we recognise people with dementia and those who care for them can feel isolated and often don’t know where to turn at what can be a very emotional and difficult time.  This initiative is about helping all our residents and not only those eligible for council support, know where to go for information, advice and services when the diagnosis is made, or even before if they are worried about a loved one, so they can make informed decisions about managing the condition and planning for the future.”  

Dr Atul Arora, Bromley GP and Clinical Lead at Bromley CCG, “The  number of people living with dementia in Bromley has increased significantly over the last ten years and this is expected to continue to increase.  We know that dementia can affect all aspects of a person’s life as well as their families, and a diagnosis can be a shock.  However, people with dementia shouldn’t simply stop what they enjoy in life and instead with the right advice and support remain as independent as possible and continue to enjoy their usual activities”.  

The post-diagnosis dementia support service is funded by the Better Care Fund, which created pooled health and social care budgets for joint commissioning.  The tender process for the service will be commencing in November.  For information about existing advice and support for those living with dementia visit http://bromley.mylifeportal.co.uk/dementia

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