NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group is responding to a rallying call as part of Dementia Action Week 2019 and launching a summer-long engagement campaign.
Dementia Action Week, 20th to 26th May, will kick off the engagement campaign from the CCG which will run until July.
The CCG recognises that work needs to be done to improve the dementia diagnosis rates in line with national figures. Dementia diagnosis rates for the CCG (September 2018) were at 61.8% with a target of 66.7% and a national average of 68.2%.
Working with local authorities and voluntary organisations the CCG is developing dementia priorities to run until 2022.
Key areas to be addressed in the engagement are:
• What should excellent dementia care look like
• What’s not working so well now
• How do we put it right
The CCG is also committing to train 80% of GP practice staff as Dementia Friends by the end of March 2020.
Prof Nick Harding, Chair of Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said: “Currently in Sandwell and West Birmingham more than 3,700 people have been diagnosed with dementia illnesses, but we believe approaching 6,000 people could be suffering with dementia and we are therefore committed to improving diagnosis rates, and the support offered.”
The Alzheimer’s Society says people are often worried about ‘saying the wrong thing’ to people living with dementia. A consequence of this is that two-thirds of people living with dementia report feeling isolated and lonely.
As part of Dementia Action Week the Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging everyone to take action by starting a conversation with someone living with dementia they know. The charity has launched some videos showing children talking to people openly about dementia, they can be found here https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-involved/dementia-action-week