By Debbie le Quesne

Dudley dementia gateway: Why I’m proud to work in Dudley

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In recent years dementia is high on the agenda. How as carerss, and perhaps more importantly, how as society we deal with its challenges will define my generation of social care workers.

As the ageing population increases demands on financial resources and services grows at an alarming rate.

Dudley’s dementia gateway service has been operating sin November 2001 – a brave and sometimes radical approach to helping sufferers of the memory-loss condition to stay independent longer.

Sniping at the Black Country accent and the poverty in some parts of the borough, I was once asked: Can anything good come out of Dudley?

Answer: Plenty, and this is just one great project that’s now getting recognition in The Guardian.

The gateway approach is all about enabling, empowering and joined-up thinking. It’s about getting early diagnosis and investment into health with good returns.

Let me quote the article: “ The care pathway is based on a multidisciplinary team approach, involving initial assessment by dementia nurses, with input from old age psychiatrists, mental health specialists, and dementia advisers, all of whom were part of the steering group that devised the pathway.”

Yes – that really sums it up

Matt Bowsher, assistant director, quality and commissioning at DMBC, is quoted as ssaying: “We wanted to develop a person-centred approach to dementia care based on listening to our clients and responding to their needs, and to help people avoid having premature links with ‘serviceland’ for as long as possible.

“We needed to adapt services to the needs of clients and their families rather than have a rigid system which delivered the same service to all clients.”

He adds in the Guardian piece: “We now support high numbers of people, including some of working age, to live well with dementia at home by providing information and advice and making links to universal services so that people can still pursue their personal interests and hobbies through our adult community enablement team.”

Am I proud today to work in Dudley? You bet I am.

See http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2013/sep/10/dudley-council-example-dementia-care

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