South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services to people in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield has welcomed the first National Dementia Strategy, launched today by the Department of Health.
The strategy is a major landmark in improving services for people with dementia and their carers. It aims to transform care through the appointment of dementia advisors, who will provide a permanent point of contact throughout a person’s care, better training for GP’s and the establishment of specialist memory services to provide early diagnosis and treatment.
South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust already provides a range of memory services having established several initiatives within its Older People’s Services. For example, the Trust offers memory clinics to assess, diagnose and provide appropriate treatment for people with dementia. It also runs a series of projects to improve the level of care people with dementia receive. These include life history work, which seeks to better understand an individual and their needs by piecing together their past, and dementia care mapping, which involves observing and recording care from the patient’s viewpoint.
The Trust’s assistant director for Older People’s Services, Sue Barton said "The Trust is committed to providing the best possible standard of care for people with dementia and the objectives set out in the new strategy will support us in doing that. We already use innovative methods of improving care for older people with dementia and are proud of how far we’ve come. In light of the new strategy we hope that we will continue to find new ways of working to consistently improve the service we provide. Our concern is the person behind the dementia and tailoring the care we provide to suit that person’s needs."