Dementia-friendly initiatives


The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published the following documents relating to dementia:

How can we make our cities dementia friendly? Sharing the learning from Bradford and York – draws out the key messages from independent evaluations of the Dementia Friendly Communities programmes in York and Bradford.

Evaluation of the Bradford Dementia Friendly Community Programme – identifies the distinctive features of the Bradford Dementia Friendly Communities programme, and examines how people with dementia can influence what a Dementia Friendly Bradford should be like.

Evaluation of the York Dementia Friendly Community Programme – identifies the distinctive features of the York Dementia Friendly Communities programme, which promotes a range of innovative projects. It looks at how people with dementia have been involved in shaping the programme.

Developing a national user movement of people with dementia
– learning from the Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (DEEP) – describes the growth of DEEP over a three-year period (2012–2015).

On the journey to becoming a dementia friendly organisation – sharing the learning for employers and organisations – shares the learning from Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Dementia without Walls programme


Cutting reliance on paper will make patients safer, says NHS England

The NHS will announce new measures to help patients, the public and clinicians make more use of technology to improve the health of the nation.

Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s National Director for Patients and Information and chair of the National Information Board, will make the announcement later this week when he addresses 5,000 NHS leaders at the NHS Innovation Expo Conference in Manchester.

He says: “Health and social care services in England must end the unnecessary reliance on paper in the treatment of patients.  It’s key to making services safer, more effective and more efficient. Every day, care is held up and patients are kept waiting while an army of people transport and store huge quantities of paper round our healthcare system”.

By April 2016, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), working with local authority partners and providers of care, must submit delivery plans for how they will eradicate the use of paper in the treatment of patients across all health and care services in their region by 2020.

Childhood depression is on the rise, but we must be wary of misdiagnosis | Ewan Gillon

Social pressures are fuelling the rise of mental health problems in children but we must ensure they are not wrongly diagnosed due to anxious parents

Foot shot of child playing hopscotch.

Twenty years ago depression and other mental health disorders in children were almost unknown and overlooked. Many physicians doubted the existence of depression in children because they believed children lacked the mature psychologic and cognitive structure to experience such problems. Depression in children has always been a difficult topic for society, and perhaps even healthcare professionals, to comprehend. Today, however, it is a stark reality with the fastest rate of increase in depression among young people; research by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) shows that 80,000 children in the UK are estimated to suffer from severe depression, including 8,000 below the age of 10.

I have noticed a significant rise in the number of children, as young as six, referred to our psychology and counselling centres suffering from depression and anxiety. It is difficult to pinpoint if this upward trend of referrals is a result of an increase in mental distress due to societal pressures, or a result of other factors such as lack of provision within the health service, or factors unique to the individual such as parents splitting up.

On the flip side of the coin, young children are often referred unfairly due to parents’ anxieties and worries rather than the seriousness of the difficulties being experienced by the child. Parents often make up their own diagnosis and refer their child to therapy when there isn’t really a serious problem. Therapists then spend time reassuring the parent that what they are seeing is normal developmental processes. Other elements may therefore be at play here and are subsequently increasing referral rates; health professionals need to be aware and cautious of this.

Read the full article via Childhood depression is on the rise, but we must be wary of misdiagnosis | Healthcare Professionals Network | The Guardian.

Staging casual conversations for people with dementia

Dementia News

Dementia November 2014 vol. 13 no. 6 834-853

A psychiatric hospital, providing talking therapies, medication and social care support for people with mental health problems. The lounge or public space. Patients and staff. A day room. Three elderly people and a staff member.

Social isolation is a key concern for individuals with dementia in long-term care. A possible solution is to promote social interaction between residents.

A first step toward facilitating positive relationships between residents with dementia is to understand the mechanisms behind their interactions with each other, and also how their relationships with each other are built through such interactions.

Drawing on casual conversations between residents in a special care unit for dementia, this paper uses systemic functional linguistics to examine how people with dementia use language to enact and construct their role-relations with each other.

Results suggest people with dementia are able and willing conversationalists. However, factors such as the extent of communication breakdown and compatibility of the interlocutors may influence whether positive relations develop or not. Casual conversation is suggested to be a promising activity to encourage positive interpersonal processes between individuals…

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Urgent action is a moral imperative – Tim Kelsey

Patients are put at risk where paper is the currency of clinical practice.

The evidence is clear that electronic prescribing systems which support clinicians ensure the right medicine is provided to the right person in the right quantity halve medication errors, yet only 14% of NHS hospital trusts currently deploy these systems.

Digital is not just a prerequisite of safety but also of cost-effectiveness. Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust spends more than £1m each year on the storage and transportation of paper records. There are over 200 acute and mental health Trusts in England – is it possible (just assuming they have similar costs) that £200m or more is spent on such services by the NHS each year? Taunton is now implementing an innovative open source electronic records strategy and is participating in an initiative to deliver interoperability across Somerset – one of several regional initiatives that are building digital momentum across England.

The Five Year Forward View identified the information revolution as a key enabler for health prevention, transforming care services and supporting delivery of the £22bn efficiency challenge.  Last November the National Information Board (NIB) – which brings together organisations in the NHS, public health, clinical science, social care, local government and public representatives – set out a framework for action to support those objectives in Personalised Health and Care 2020. This confirmed that the national focus should be on the key technical systems that provide the ‘electronic glue’ which enables different parts of the health service to work together. It will be for the local NHS to decide upon and procure the clinical software that allows workflows and day-to-day diagnosis and treatment to be managed electronically, allowing the move away from paper. However, systems chosen must meet nationally specified interoperability and data standards so that information captured can be accessed or transferred across the numerous NHS and social care organisational boundaries that our patients visit and receive care from. The NIB Framework has been adopted as formal government policy.

Read the full article via NHS England » Urgent action is a moral imperative – Tim Kelsey.

Diabetes prevention programmes: evidence review

A systematic review of the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions for the prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in routine practice.

This review updated and extended a previously conducted systematic review and metaanalysis which assessed the effectiveness of ‘real-world’ interventions for the prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in high risk populations. This was achieved through the following research questions:

1. What is the effectiveness of diabetes prevention programmes on delaying the onset and reducing the incidence of T2DM and reducing weight and glucose in high risk populations in practice?

2. In which population groups are the models identified the most effective – age, gender, BMI and ethnicity?

3. What are the key identifiable elements across the most efficacious interventions that constitute a successful programme?

Read the full report

via Diabetes prevention programmes: evidence review – Publications – GOV.UK.