New sup­port team for de­men­tia care

Joint ser­vice aims to make sure fam­i­lies get help they need

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

for any­one who is con­cerned about their mem­ory, and will give an early in­di­ca­tion if some­one does have de­men­tia.

“For­get­ting some­one’s name, or not re­mem­ber­ing where you put your car keys, for ex­am­ple, is not nec­es­sar­ily a sign of de­men­tia, but if some­one is con­cerned that their mem­ory is fail­ing they will be able to get sup­port much more quickly than is cur­rently avail­able.”

In a joint state­ment, Chiltern CCG’s com­mis­sion­ing di­rec­tor for stay­ing healthy and men­tal health Dr Steve Mur­phy and Ayles­bury Vale CCG’s clin­i­cal lead on de­men­tia Dr Ali­son Banks, said: “Get­ting an early di­ag­no­sis for de­men­tia is re­ally im­por­tant, as it al­lows time to plan and en­sure ad­just­ments can be made to al­low peo­ple to stay at home for as long as pos­si­ble.

“This ser­vice means peo­ple will get the right in­for­ma­tion at the right time. Most im­por­tantly it means that the in­di­vid­ual and their fam­i­lies get the sup­port and guid­ance they need.”

The new sup­port ser­vice means that peo­ple can ex­pect to get an ini­tial di­ag­no­sis within two weeks wher­ever they live in the county.

Their GP will re­fer the in­di­vid­ual to the lo­cal Alzheimer’s team who will use a pa­per-based ques­tion­naire tool, called the Gen­eral Prac­ti­tioner as­sess­ment of Cog­ni­tion (GPCOG), to make an ini­tial as­sess­ment.

For many peo­ple the as­sess­ment will not lead to a for­mal di­ag­no­sis of de­men­tia and they can be sign­posted to other ser­vices which will sup­port them more ap­pro­pri­ately.

For those who score low with the GPCOG, they will be re­ferred to the Mem­ory Clinic for a closer as­sess­ment and will be sup­ported through the process by the Alzheimer’s team.

When some­one is di­ag­nosed with de­men­tia the sup­port will fo­cus on plan­ning for the fu­ture and en­able the per­son to live well at home, as well as sign­post­ing to sup­port ser­vices for the per­son car­ing for them.

The ser­vice re­places the mem­ory ad­vice ser­vice cur­rently split be­tween Age UK Bucks and the Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety.

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