More support for people living with dementia is being provided through a partnership between Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Alzheimer’s Society.
Three new Primary Care Dementia Liaison Workers will come in to post later this month and will work alongside the specialist Memory Team based in University Hospital Llandough, Vale of Glamorgan and with primary care staff to provide support to people with dementia after their diagnosis and to their carers. Funding for the posts has come from a Welsh Government initiative to recruit new primary care support workers unveiled in April this year.
Sue Phelps, Director for Alzheimer’s Society in Wales said; “There are over 5,500 people living with dementia in Cardiff and the Vale.
“Being diagnosed with dementia can be a daunting and bewildering experience. Dementia Liaison Workers are there to help people understand the condition; signpost to appropriate support services and provide guidance on issues that matter most. They enable people to take control of their lives and make sense of what is happening to them. These roles provide support which can transform the life of a person living with dementia.”
The new Primary Care Dementia Liaison Workers will operate direct from GP surgeries across the city and the Vale of Glamorgan. Working collaboratively with primary care staff, this service aims to raise awareness of dementia and provide post diagnostic support and better access to services within the community setting.
Tony Bayer, Professor of Geriatric Medicine at Cardiff University, and Director of the Health Board’s Memory Team emphasised the importance of this initiative. He said; “Dementia continues to remain one of the top priorities for the health board, and demand for services is high. We are dedicated to ensuring that our residents with a dementia diagnosis, their carers and family members receive the best possible treatment and support. We hope that the GPs, nurses and other staff we have working across our primary care services will feel increasingly supported in managing those with a dementia diagnosis as a result of this investment.”
Conrad Eydmann, Head of Partnership Commissioning for the Health Board added; “This collaboration illustrates the effectiveness of joint working between the health board and charities such as Alzheimer’s Society, where our common interests enable us to work together to achieve better outcomes for patients, carers and family members.”
Sue Phelps added; “Last month our report, Diagnose or Disempower? made a recommendation for every person diagnosed with dementia to receive a named support worker who they can easily contact with any questions and who can signpost them to appropriate services. We are pleased that steps are being taken towards this through the Welsh Government initiative and in partnership with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. We hope to see these roles created throughout Wales to effectively support people living with dementia.”
The project will also be recruiting volunteers to work alongside the Dementia Liaison Workers to provide extra support when needed, perhaps through attending community activities and appointments.
In addition to Dementia Liaison Workers, Alzheimer’s Society in South East Wales runs a number of services including a Day Support Service, Community Support, Carers Information Programme, BAME Service and a variety of community based groups such as Singing for the Brain®.
For more information on the new Primary Care Dementia Liaison Workers and Alzheimer’s Society services in South East Wales, please contact our local office on 029 2043 4960 or visit alzheimers.org.uk/localinformation