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15 February 2017
Press release

Dementia Together - New service to help people with dementia live well for longer

People with dementia will be able to access the right information and support in the community to help them live well with the condition from its early stages until the end of life when a new specialist service launches in east and west Suffolk this spring.

NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), in partnership with Suffolk County Council, have commissioned Sue Ryder and three partner organisations to deliver the new-look dementia service in collaboration with other local organisations from 1 April. 

Developed together with patients, carers and other stakeholders, Dementia Together aims to work across organisational boundaries so that people can access joined-up support which better meets their needs and allows them to live independently for longer.

Dementia Together will be open to people at all stages of the illness and their families or carers, from those who are worried about memory loss and need advice to people with a long-standing diagnosis who are nearing the end of their lives.

People will be able to access Dementia Together through one point of contact, in turn making it easier to get them the right help at the right time and preventing them from reaching crisis point. This could include information, help from a trained advisor, a community-based support group, or chat with an expert, depending on the individual service users needs.

The new service will also work to raise people’s awareness of the signs of dementia so that as many people as possible ask for help and an early stage.

Sue Ryder will deliver the service in partnership with Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance, the University of Suffolk and Purple Tuesday, who will be developing a dedicated user friendly website linked to the service. Sue Ryder is also working in collaboration with the local dementia action alliances across east and west Suffolk and other local organisations to ensure that people received joined up support.  

Jo Marshall ,Sue Ryder Neurological Centre Director said: "We are very excited to be working together with such a range of organisations - what unites us is a shared passion to make a positive difference to the lives of people who are affected by dementia including family carers.  We hope our joined up approach will mean people will not have to keep retelling their story and lead us to deliver a high quality service."

Dr John Hague, GP and governing body member of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG said: “This new service will bring a huge amount of information about the services and support which are available to people affected by dementia into one place, in turn making it easier for people to get the right help to meet their needs.

“People will be able to contact the service through a single free phone number. Trained advisors will then be able to answer questions and provide personalised information via telephone or provide a home visit, direct them to local sources of help such as a support group, or refer to the appropriate organisation who can help  depending on their individual needs.  The service will develop  a range of support groups in the community based on local need.

“While developing the service, patients, families and carers told us they felt overwhelmed by the range of help which is available, and unsure of who to approach to meet their needs. The new service will remove all of that doubt and uncertainty by bringing all of that expertise into one place.

“We hope that by empowering patients and their families and giving them the right information and support, we can help them live well with dementia and stay independent for longer.”

Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Cllr Beccy Hopfensperger said: “This type of partnership working and service development is all about finding a new way to do things that brings together providers from across the county to share expertise and deliver the services that residents are asking for. We must increasingly find ways to make budgets stretch further with less government money available. I am very pleased that Sue Ryder is going to be working with the CCGs and ourselves to provide this service.”

The new service will replace the existing post-diagnostic dementia support offer for people in east and west Suffolk, which is due to end on 31 March.

Issued by The Communications Team on 01473 770014
NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group – www.ipswichandeastsuffolkccg.nhs.uk
NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group – www.westsuffolkccg.nhs.uk

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