Dementia Care In Stoke-on-Trent Is Improving
A new service launched by North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust to provide support to GP practices in treating people living with dementia closer to their homes is already proving successful.
Launched in September, the Dementia Primary Care Liaison Team acts as a bridge between primary healthcare and mental health services.
Within Stoke-on-Trent, a team of three Dementia Primary Care Nurses are providing support to all GP practices within the city, while a 12-month pilot is running in North Staffordshire until September 2016, with two Dementia Primary Care Nurses supporting 15 GP practices in the area.
By linking in with their respective GP practices, the nurses are able to provide more convenient support to a service user diagnosed with dementia. Instead of the service user needing to visit one of the Trust’s Memory Clinics, the nurse can offer this service to someone either at their GP practice, in their home or in a care home.
As well as providing a Memory Clinic service, the nurses are also able to support the GP practice by signposting a patient to relevant social or voluntary services.
The Stoke service has been commissioned by Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), while the North Staffordshire pilot is being funded by North Staffordshire CCG.
Linda Simcock, Dementia Primary Care Liaison Team Leader for Stoke-on-Trent, said: “The teams are providing positive support both to service users and GP practices.
“Once it is felt a service user is stable enough to no longer be required to attend the Memory Clinic at Harplands Hospital or Maple House, they can be transferred to the Dementia Primary Care Liaison Team so they can receive the care and support they need closer to home.”
Rachael Birks, Dementia Primary Care Liaison Team Leader for North Staffordshire, said: “We are looking forward to strengthening our links further with GP practices. Within North Staffordshire, we have embarked on a 12-month pilot, but the hope is that we will be able to roll it out across the area once the results of the pilot are known.”
Darryl Gwinnet, Modern Matron for the Trust’s Neuro and Old Age Psychiatry Directorate, said: “The valuable service the Dementia Primary Care Liaison Teams offer will further help to boost the support we provide to people diagnosed with dementia in the locality.”