Dementia care shake-up is urged

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A BOLD approach to tackling dementia is being unveiled by Calderdale Council.

The Adults Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel has been investigating the way in which the condition is managed in the borough.

The report contains a series of recommendations including one which would see Calderdale become a “dementia-friendly borough” by 2014.

It will be considered by Cabinet next month.

A Bold Approach outlines ways to improve the current system and diagnose dementia earlier.

It also addresses areas of improvement for people with dementia and their carers, helping them to receive the advice and support they need.

In addition, panel chairman Ruth Goldthorpe, is calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to broaden the Government’s campaign to tackle dementia.

She says the Government has introduced an Innovation Challenge Prize fund of £1m for NHS staff suggesting innovative ideas to transform dementia care.

But she says the offer should be broadened out to local authority staff, the voluntary sector and members of the public.

In her letter she says: “Real success in improving services for people with dementia will only come about through effective joint working.

“If you were to extend the Challenge Prize fund, it would not only provide a greater incentive to innovation, it would send a very clear message about cross-boundary working.

“The challenge of supporting an increasing number of people with dementia is such that an incremental, piecemeal approach will not do.

“That is why we are calling for a bold approach, resulting in a radical reshaping of services that will help people with dementia – and their carers – live longer, more fulfilling lives at home, rather than in institutional care.”