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I am writing to thank you and all of your care staff for the exceptional service shown to Mrs B over the past few years, but particularly over the past week.

The social workers and district nurses were impressed by the care and attention to detail that all of your staff gave. Your staff consistently gave their time and patient support in a professional manner.

Please pass on our recognition of this support, and we look forward to working with you all in the future.

Cumbria County Council (Social Services) January 2008
Header-debbie Hand-comforts Elderly-man

Dementia Focus

As part of Bellcare’s commitment to provide research based caring excellence in our local Cumbrian communities, we have recognised the need for enlightened support and information regarding Dementia for our Service User’s, their carers’ and families and all our employees. There is a need to work with current initiatives, to use the information gathered to push forward with those aspects of Dementia Care which are relevant to our discipline, domiciliary care.

National Dementia Strategy

The National Dementia Strategy ‘Improving Life with Dementia’ focuses on the outcomes that are important to people with dementia, their families and their carers’. It aims to empower them to sustain their health and wellbeing and to lead the lives they chose, as far as possible, through the course of the illness.
The strategy recognises that people with dementia and their families and their carers’ are partners in the4 process of clarifying needs and solutions and, in some instances, meeting the needs of others.

Cumbria Dementia Strategy

Cumbria’s Dementia Strategy sets out the agenda and framework for a programme of improvement as defined by the National Dementia Strategy and refined by extensive local discussion over the last 2 years.

It is a working document, which has been agreed as a basis for an integrated and coordinated approach. The implementation process is action orientated and aims to stimulate the development of plans for improvement. These plans will identify who will take the lead, when improvements can be expected, and how they will be resourced and financed.

The process and framework also provides the opportunity for a wide range of organisations, groups and individuals to engage with and contribute to the task of implementation.

The Structure in Cumbria

Dementia Implementation Group
A Dementia Implementation Group has been established with a membership that consists of a small group of senior staff from health, social care a key third sector agencies, which over the next three years will drive and coordinate a programme of improvement. This group will report on progress to Cumbria’s Health and Wellbeing Board.

Task Groups
The detailed work will be undertaken by two groups tasked with progressing changes and priorities. The priority areas covered by these groups will be:
• Dementia awareness, information, advice and peer support, plus better engagement with people with dementia, their families and carers- led by third sector organisations
and
• Development of Integrated Services for people with dementia and their Carers- the work will include diagnosis, treatment and support, the development of an integrated care pathway plus care in building-based and community based settings (including end of life care) - led by NHS Cumbria and Adult Social Care

Task and Finish Business Group Meeting
The detailed work will be undertaken by this group, tasked with progressing changes and priorities. The priority areas covered will be:
1. Integrated Care Pathway
2. Care Environments
3. Public Health
4. Medicines Management
5. User Engagement
6. Workforce Development
7. Peer Support
8. Information and Advice

Dementia Forums
In order to ensure that people with dementia, their families and carers’ can contribute to the process the Alzheimer’s Society in Cumbria have established a programme of local forum meetings. These will act as a focus and channel for their views, comments and suggestions to be fed into the task groups.

Basic Training
• Prevention, early signs and symptoms
• Diagnosis, initial treatment and support
• Living well with dementia
• When things go wrong, change, or suddenly get worse
• As things get harder and change a lot
• End of life and bereavement

To find out more about Bellcare's Dementia Focus initiative and how we may help you, please contact Georgina Stott at Bellcare on 01900 872 030 or email georgina@bellcare.co.uk