Residents in York care homes could get quicker access to support dementia services thanks to a new trial to improve diagnosis rates.
City of York Council has teamed up with the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (VoYCCG) and Dementia Forward*, to trial a new scheme to provide support and education for care home staff enabling them to screen residents for dementia. Historically, diagnosis required someone to visit their GP or hospital setting presenting with signs of dementia, meaning that many people didn’t receive information and support about their condition as early as possible.
The 12 month project is currently being trialled in eight care homes across the city, including City of York Council’s Haxby Hall and Windsor House. Early indications show that diagnosis rates have increased significantly, and the pilot will be rolled out to other public sector and private care homes across the city over the next few months.
Key staff at the care homes are trained how to use a national screening tool by Dementia Forward, before using it to assess their residents. If someone is assessed as having Dementia they, and their families and carers, can then be offered information and advice and the condition and support available locally, as well as using the Alzheimer’s Society toolkit ‘This is Me’ to help care workers support the resident in their care home.
Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive member for Adult Social Care and Health, City of York Council: “We know that early dementia diagnosis can make it easier for the individual and their family and carers to get the right help and support as soon as possible and help them live with the condition. We hope that this pilot will further improve diagnosis rates in York, supporting our aim to make York a Dementia Friendly City.”
Dr Louise Barker, from the Vale of York CCG, said: “I am delighted that this important project is now being trialled locally.
“For someone with dementia, changes such as moving to an unfamiliar place or meeting new people who contribute to their care can be unsettling or distressing.
“This training is helping care workers to build a better understanding of the person they are caring for and in turn enhance the support they provide.”
Jill Quinn from Dementia Forward says “We are delighted to be part of a project that joins everything up. We are working with care home staff, GPs, residents and their families. One of the most rewarding aspects has been the support we can provide to families and anything that raises awareness and improves dementia support is a positive thing.”