Healthcare professionals from around the country have come together in Bristol today (Thursday 23 June), to find out how the Bristol Dementia Wellbeing Service has transformed diagnosis and support in the city.
Bristol’s dementia diagnosis rate is now one of the highest in the South West. This has been made possible following an overhaul of the service, carried out by NHS Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) working in partnership with Alzheimer's Society.
Launched in April 2015, the new service is now delivered entirely within primary care, meaning potential lengthy referrals and waits are no longer necessary. This change happened following an engagement process that included service users, GPs, and specialists.
The new Dementia Wellbeing Service, allows people to self-refer and, once initial contact has been made, a record is opened and an individual wellbeing plan developed. The service employs 29 dementia practitioners and 26 dementia navigators based in three hubs across the city, providing named support to every GP practice and care home. This ensures a seamless service which has resulted in improved outcomes and experience of care for patients.
Today’s fully booked conference at Ashton Gate Stadium has heard from guest speaker Professor Alistair Burns, NHS England’s Clinical Director for Dementia, as well as Bristol GPs.
Dr Pippa Stables, Bristol CCG Clinical Lead for Dementia, said: “We are delighted that people with dementia in Bristol, and their families, now have the support of a single, named dementia navigator, to help them get all the support they need much closer to home.
“A lot of work has gone into the Bristol Dementia Wellbeing Service and we are proud to be leading the way in terms of diagnosis and treatment.
“The new service has been very well received by services users and their families as well as by healthcare professionals.
“The conference provides a great opportunity for us to showcase our work and help colleagues in the NHS across the country inform our experience here in Bristol.”
You can follow the conference discussions on Twitter using the hashtag #BristolDementia
For more information about the dementia wellbeing service visit http://bristoldementiawellbeing.org