Dementia Support Service

What was the issue you were addressing or working on?

Responding to the National Dementia Strategy and the National Dementia Standards, the Dementia Support Service was set up to provide short term intervention for cases that had ordinarily ended up at crisis or in the residential care system.


What you did?

The change fund was used to fund the appointment of 8 full time Dementia Support Workers who are based within each of the planning localities in North Ayrshire.

The Dementia Support Service provides information, advice and sign posting to community resources and statutory services including money advice. The service also provides respite and personal care enhancing the existing care at home and day services. It has capacity to respond to emergencies and has prevented hospital admissions and the service is accessible on a 24/7 basis and provides overnight support where required.

The mainland area of North Ayrshire is served by 7 full time Dementia Support Workers and there will be a further post filled on the Island of Arran early in 2013. The support offered comes from trained staff, that all have specialist knowledge of Dementia and other services within the local area. The staff are also involved with the support provided within the Memory Café environment.

There have also been a number of events that have taken place Ayrshire wide and as well as nationally that staff have attended in order to promote and talk about the service, these have included recently held Reshaping Care Events on the islands and the mainland, events at the Scottish Parliament and events including a World Café Day at the Menzies Hotel in Irvine.

The Dementia Support Coordinator is also one of our Dementia Champions and has been at the forefront of development of the service and has visited a number of other services to further promote the aims and objectives of what we are trying to achieve for with people with dementia and their carers.

A number of patient stories are available here.


What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?

By one to one interaction and through the use of Customer Feedback Surveys we are finding that the one overarching issue is that service users and their carers highlight is the need for future supports to be identified as the support service withdraws. This is an area that will be looked at in the remit of the North Ayrshire Dementia Steering Group which will be chaired by Isabel Marr, Service Manager for Elderly Mental Health Services.

It is anticipated that work with the Partnership that is now on the agenda will place great emphasis on the H.E.A.T Target (Health Improvement, Efficiency, Access to Services and Treatment) for ensuring that everyone has keyworker support for a minimum of one year following diagnosis.

Further and on-going work will take place in 2013 and 2014 with specific regard to the partnership and how it wishes to work towards securing the correct level of training for staff through the Promoting Excellence Framework. The provision of the services provided by the Council’s Dementia Respite Resource, Anam Cara will also be evaluated in 2013

The Support Service will be developed on the Islands of Cumbrae and Arran and significant work is already underway in terms of the Partnership approach to staffing and shared processes. It is our intention to continue to work in a collaborative way that helps us to ensure that the service meets the often complex needs of those in isolated communities.

Further innovation will involve the promotion and use of Telecare equipment for people with dementia and it is seen that this will be a fundamental aspect in the partnerships promotion of the Reshaping Care Agenda


Contacts - to find out more

Anthony Fisher, tfisher@north-ayrshire.gsx.gov.uk  0796610477

Follow on Twitter  @NAdementia

Blog www.northayrshiredementia.wordpress.com