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South West GP practices become dementia friendly

Dementia Friendly GP Project St Johns Medical Centre in Grantham with their certificate

A number of GP practices based in the south west of Lincolnshire have become ‘dementia friendly’ as a result of a jointly funded project between South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Alzheimer’s Society.

The aim of the joint project was to increase dementia diagnosis and improve access to sources of support for people affected by dementia in the south west of the county.  The project focused mainly on supporting GP practices to undertake a dementia friendly toolkit assessment and complete an action plan.

“Particular congratulations must go to our nine practices who have been awarded a certificate confirming their dementia friendly status,” comments Dr Dave Baker, GP and Chair, South West Lincolnshire CCG.  “They have worked really hard towards becoming more dementia friendly and have taken a number of measures to achieve this status.”

The nine practices awarded certificates confirming their dementia friendly status are:

  • Caythorpe and Ancaster Medical Practice
  • Billinghay Medical Practice
  • Colsterworth Medical Practice
  • Long Bennington Medical Centre
  • New Springwells Practice
  • Ruskington Medical Practice
  • St John’s Medical Centre
  • Swingbridge Surgery
  • Vine House Surgery

The practices have undertaken a range of measures including making staff Dementia Friends, improved the environment in their premises to include clearer signage, helping with navigation around the practice.  Practice websites now include dementia information and practices have become more focused on the role of carers and their inclusion in the patient’s journey.

“In addition, these practices have worked to provide more timely diagnosis by supporting diagnosis in practice and have made available post diagnosis information packs.  They have been making referrals to the Dementia Family Support Service, linked with dementia family support workers for post diagnostic appointments, and become supporters of the local Dementia Action Alliance,” adds Dr Baker.

“Dementia devastates lives; it slowly strips people of their memories, relationships and identities. In Lincolnshire alone there are 11,000 people with the condition and that number continues to rise. Visiting a GP practice can be a daunting experience for a person with dementia who may have difficulty communicating with staff or navigating through a building they don’t know very well,” comments Jo Blackwell, Alzheimer’s Society, Lincolnshire.

“We’ve been really pleased at how these nine GP practices have united against dementia to make life easier for people with the condition. Many important steps have been taken which will make a significant difference to visitors to the practices.”

For more information on becoming dementia friendly, visit:

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-involved/dementia-friendly-communities/organisations/how-to-become-dementia-friendly-community

Photo: St John's Medical Centre in Grantham with their certificate - courtesy of Alzheimer's Society - East Midlands

Updated 29/06/2018