CCG scoops dementia services funding for Bristol

Date: 20 Feb 2013

Category: Services

Bristol has scooped funding of more than £200,000 to help turn it into a dementia-friendly city.

The bid for funding for three projects has been led by the emerging Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group, which will replace Bristol Primary Care Trust next year, together with partners including Bristol City Council, Alzheimer’s Society, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, North Bristol Trust
and the Red Cross. The funding has come from the South of England Dementia Challenge Fund.

Dr Martin Jones, Chair Designate of Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group, (CCG) said:

“We are excited to be granted this money, which we hope will really make a difference to people with dementia and how they are supported by the community. A CCG cannot improve care for dementia on its own – it has to be a community-wide priority.

“In Bristol it is expected that there will be a 23 per cent increase in the number of people with dementia over the next 20 years. We know this money will provide vital funding so that we can work in innovative ways across the community to fulfil the concept of dementia-friendly communities ensuring that people live well with dementia. Support will be provided by means of a whole-system approach from health and social care.”

Projects that will form part of the initiative include:

Moving Bristol towards becoming a 'dementia-friendly city', including the development of sustainable good practice in social inclusion for people with dementia and their carers/families.

Dr Jones said:

“People with dementia talk about stigma and social isolation. They report losing friends after their diagnosis, seeing people cross the street to avoid them, feeling lonely, and struggling to use local services. The project will aim to shift dementia from being seen as the responsibility of health
and social care to touching all areas of life and communities. It will tie in to work with local neighbourhoods and intergenerational partnerships with schools to promote understanding and acceptance of ageing across age groups.”

Bristol City Council is the main partner for this bid.

Volunteering and dementia in Bristol

This project starts to support a ‘wraparound’ service following diagnosis. People with dementia and their carers/family are often left feeling unsure of how to get help and, as the illness progresses, they can feel lonely and isolated. By working with volunteers from across the whole city, different population needs will be met.

For example, recruitment of volunteers from different Black Minority and Ethnic backgrounds will be actively encouraged, to give members of these communities easier access to equitable services.

One scheme will work on the reduction and prevention of isolation for people with dementia and their carers. The other will encourage people with dementia to become volunteers. Partners include British Red Cross, Alzheimer’s Society, Bristol City Council.

Delivering a stimulating hospital environment

This project will improve the hospital environment by implementing a model that has worked well in other hospitals in the UK. It will enable changes to be made to one ward in each hospital in Bristol – the Bristol Royal Infirmary Hospital and Southmead Hospital.

The ward will be designed so that people with dementia have an improved hospital stay, compared with a traditional ward. People with dementia will often already be experiencing confusion and get upset when they are admitted to hospital. The traditional hospital ward often only adds to this. The funding will bring benefits for people with dementia, carers/families and also staff. If the environment helps people to know where they are and feel better oriented, then they are likely to recover from their illness more quickly and have a shorter stay in hospital.

Partners will be North Bristol NHS Trust and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

Derek Dominey, Chair of the Dementia Partnership Board, who cares for his wife, Bridget, who has dementia, said:

“I welcome this great news. The move towards making Bristol a dementia-friendly city, following the example of cities such as Plymouth and York, will be of great benefit to those trying to cope with the problems of daily living with dementia. The commitment of all the partners involved in the project is most welcome and augurs well for a successful outcome.''

Mike Hennessey, Bristol City Council Care Management Director, Health and Social Care, said:

“We are delighted to have been successful with our partners in securing this additional funding for Bristol, which will have a significant impact on the quality of life for people living with dementia and the often unsung people who care for them day in and day out. This funding will enable us to work in new ways with communities in Bristol to help to raise awareness of how much dementia is 'everybody's business'. This will broaden the range of support available for people at all stages of dementia and help to underpin the services available from the NHS, the council and the voluntary sector.”

Alison Moon, Chief Nurse at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and regional champion for improving dementia care in hospitals, said: 

“A report by the Alzheimer’s Society showed that one quarter of people in hospital are people aged over 65 with dementia and that these patients are likely to stay in hospital longer, which in turn has a negative impact on their symptoms and their health. It is vital that we provide care for patients with dementia that takes full account of their condition in appropriate environments, and that we train staff so that they have the skills to do this. At University Hospitals Bristol we are working hard to do this and we are delighted that Bristol has obtained this funding and is focusing on this important area of care.”

Gareth Howells, Deputy Director of Nursing for North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT), is the Trust's Lead for Dementia. He said:

“This is excellent news for patients with dementia and their carers.

"As a member of the Dementia Partnership Board, NBT has been fully involved in working for Bristol to become a dementia-friendly city. Improving things for patients with dementia is one of this Trust’s top priorities. Already more than 5,000 staff have taken part in dementia awareness training. In addition, 100 members of staff from across the organisation have taken on the role of dementia champion, becoming the ‘eyes and ears’ of dementia patients on our wards and around our hospitals.

"Looking to the future, we have been working hard to ensure that the new hospital at Southmead is accessible to all patients, that signage is clear and that wards/departments will benefit from a dementia champion who will make sure the environment is suitable and all staff are aware of the needs of people with dementia."

Dementia help & support