Partnership working in Gloucestershire, which has led to an increase in dementia diagnosis rates, was recognised by The Department of Health at a regional Dementia Roadshow in Bristol yesterday.

Speaking at the conference, Helen Bown, Joint Commissioning Manager for Older People’s Services for Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and Gloucestershire County Council, outlined the ways in which organisations are working together to make a real and meaningful difference.

“We have taken a broad approach to tackling dementia, introducing initiatives such as a joined up Memory Assessment Service that provides support to both GPs and local communities and rolling education programmes for carers and health care professionals who work with people with dementia. We now also have community dementia nurses and dementia advisors working closely with GPs and providing invaluable support to patients across the county.”

Other work has been done to bring together district councils, volunteers and community groups to establish a network of Memory Cafes across the county, offering people with dementia and their carers social opportunities to come together and share experiences in a supportive environment. There is also a Carers’ Emergency Respite Scheme which provides an agreed plan of personal support to the person being cared for.

Dr Hein Le Roux, GP in Stroud and Clinical Lead for Dementia at Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Diagnosis rates in Gloucestershire are steadily increasing meaning that more people with dementia and carers are benefiting from the range of support available. Gloucestershire CCG is committed to further improving the quality of local diagnosis services to sustain this increase and enhance the day-to-day lives of people with dementia.”

The Roadshow was also attended by Professor Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia, and Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, both of whom expressed an interest in visiting Gloucestershire.