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By Debbie le Quesne

Dudley grabbing good headlines over dementia care

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Good headlines in care are hard to find and as rare as hen’s teeth. I was thrilled, therefore, to see that Prime Minister David Cameron has praised Dudley’s approach to caring for people with dementia.

In his  ‘Challenge on Dementia’ published just before the start of Dementia Awareness Week, Dudley Council working in partnership with Dudley CCG, has been highlighted for developing “an innovative, integrated approach to the diagnosis, care and support offered to people with dementia, their carers and families.”

Good, isn’t it?

The report goes on to commend the borough’s three Dementia Gateways, which provide care and support for those affected by dementia throughout all stages of the condition.

Dudley’s Dementia Gateway Service has been shortlisted for a national award in the Great British Care Awards in the personalisation category, having been awarded the West Midlands award in December. The results will be announced in June and I wish the local authority my very best.

As part of the awareness week (May 18 – 24), led by the Alzheimer’s Society to raise awareness of the condition and to help address the fear that many people feel about it, a host of activities were arranged at gateway centres: Roseville gateway, Tunnel Street, Coseley, The Crystal gateway, Brettell Lane, Brierley Hill and Brett Young Centre, Old Hawne Lane, Halesowen.

They are open from 10am until 3pm during the week and people are invited to pop in and find out more from the team of dementia experts.

Dudley Libraries are also supporting the initiative and are launching a new collection of books and resources for people with dementia.

The Reading Agency has worked with dementia healthcare experts, people with dementia and carer groups to select a list of 25 titles that provide support and advice for people with dementia and their carers. Health professionals will be able to use the list to prescribe books to their patients.

I applaud Dudley’s joined-up approach to dementia care and this week has presented another opportunity for the town to shine. Happy news that makes me smile about an initiative that I’ve watched develop and succeed. A great inspiration for the area, my association will be working with the authority, CCG and care providers to ensure there is enough training and support to service the borough’s dementia needs.

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