New dementia services secured for West Sussex
Friday 25th May, 2012
People with dementia, their families and carers are set to benefit from brand new memory assessment services in West Sussex.
NHS Sussex and West Sussex County Council are delighted to announce that funding has been secured to provide the new services across West Sussex by the end of 2012.
Work is now underway with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the Alzheimer’s Society, who will work together to provide the services across the county.
Introducing memory assessment services to West Sussex is a significant step to ensuring that people with dementia, their families and carers have the best possible help and support available.
Memory assessment services help to increase the number of people who are diagnosed with dementia earlier in the development of their condition and have shown to significantly improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their carers.
In West Sussex more than 13,000 people are currently living with dementia and one in five people in the county will have a form of dementia during their lifetime.
However, approximately only 35% of people currently living with dementia in West Sussex have a formal diagnosis - meaning more than 8,400 people could be going without the vital support the NHS and social care services can offer.
An early diagnosis of dementia can make all the difference. It gives people more control of their condition because they can find out where to get practical help and information, and – crucially - can plan ahead.
This positive step to help and support more people with dementia in West Sussex comes as the county marks its first ‘Dementia Awareness Day’ in Haywards Heath today (Friday 25 May 2012). An information and advice drop-in event is taking place at the Age UK Redwood Centre, where people can find out more about the condition, talk to local support organisations and develop their skills at a series of workshops.
Jo Robertson, Dementia lead for West Sussex, said: “This is fantastic news for everyone in West Sussex. We are delighted to be able to announce that we will be introducing memory assessment services to support people with dementia across the county and their families and carers.
“Dementia is one of the biggest health and social care challenges faced by our society and given that the number of people with dementia in Sussex is estimated to rise more than 20% over the next ten years, we need to take action now. We hope that by providing these services for people across West Sussex we can significantly increase the number of people getting an early diagnosis – meaning that they have more control over their condition and can receive the vital health and social care support they deserve.”
Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said: “We have been working with our partners in the NHS to support early diagnosis of problems such as dementia, raising awareness and making sure there is better coordination of services under our ‘Age With Confidence’ initiative.
“This ties in perfectly with our work – we want to make sure people are confident in preparing for and living well in old age.”
Peter Catchpole, County Council Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services, said: “This is truly wonderful news that will help our ageing population in West Sussex.
“It is a good example of joint working between our health services and the County Council that will help people live independently and safely for longer.”
Neil Waterhouse, Service Director for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said, "We are delighted that we will be providing this service alongside the Alzheimer's Society. Through this new service we can support people to live independently for longer, reduce the need for hospital stays and improve their quality of life. Memory assessment is the vital first step in supporting people to live well with dementia.
"The new service will work alongside our existing dementia services for people at home and in hospital."
Elisa Vaughan, Alzheimer’s Society Locality Manager for Sussex, said: ‘It’s great news that we’re working with the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to roll the memory assessment service out in West Sussex. With the number of people affected by dementia rising every year, it’s vital that we are able to reach more people living with the condition at an earlier stage. A timely diagnosis gives people access to drug treatments, enables them to be signposted to emotional, financial and practical support, and empowers people to plan for the future.’
- Dementia is one of the most pressing challenges facing health and social care in the UK.
- There are many types of dementia, of which Alzheimer's disease is the most prevalent.
- The estimated health and social care cost of each person with dementia is £12,521, more than cancer, stroke and heart disease combined, and the overall cost to the country has been estimated to be more than £14 billion per year in the UK.
- Dementia affects one person in twenty-five in their seventies, and one in six of those over the age of 80. It is estimated that the number of people with dementia in the UK will have risen from the current 800,000 to 1 million by 2021.
- Experts and the Department of Health agree that early diagnosis and intervention in dementia is cost-effective, and yet only between a third and a half of people with dementia ever receives a formal diagnosis.
- The early recognition and detection of dementia enables people with dementia, their families and clinicians to plan more effectively for the future and can improve quality of life for both the person with dementia and their carer(s).