Healthwatch Norfolk launches dementia report at AGM
At its first AGM on 22 September 2014, Healthwatch Norfolk launched its Experiences of Dementia Services in Norfolk. There are at least 13,000 people in Norfolk diagnosed with dementia and dementia is a priority area for Healthwatch Norfolk and Norfolk’s Health and Wellbeing Board. Healthwatch worked in detail with 63 people, both carers and people with dementia, to understand more about service provision in Norfolk – where it was good and where it needs to be improved. The report has already contributed to Norfolk's Dementia Health Needs Assessment.
The main themes identified in the report are:
Delayed diagnosis of dementia can result in a more rapid decline in health and wellbeing
Carers want more information at the point of diagnosis
Access to services varied greatly and not all dementia services are available on an equitable basis across Norfolk
Family (unpaid) carers provide the bulk of daily care and face practical problems and financial hardship
There is uncertainty on what services are there in an emergency for people with dementia
Carers have felt the impact of funding cuts on support services
The day-to-day experience of caring for someone with dementia can be difficult and carers would benefit from more advice on how to cope
The report makes a series of recommendations for commissioners of support services and for further Healthwatch Norfolk’s work on behalf of people with dementia and their carers. These include:
Commissioners to give careful consideration to the level and equity of support across Norfolk for people with dementia and their carers
Healthwatch Norfolk to undertake a programme of enter and view visits to residential homes for people with dementia
Healthwatch Norfolk to influence improved information and signposting for people with dementia and their carers
Healthwatch Norfolk Chief Executive, Alex Stewart, said:
“We need to get services for people with dementia and their carers right, especially in a county like Norfolk with an ageing population. We know that this is a real challenge but it is one we need to rise to. Healthwatch is committed to working with commissioners, providers and other groups to help make sure that services are as good as they can be. This report is part of our ongoing commitment to work on behalf of people with dementia.”
Healthwatch Norfolk is working with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust to find out more about people’s experience of the ambulance service.
For the next three months we are running a survey that asks people whether they were satisfied with the service when they had to call 999. We also want to know about the circumstances when people think it is appropriate to call 999 and ask for help. We will publish findings from the survey in the Autumn.
If you have had to dial 999 for an ambulance recently then you can take the survey online here
“We know that the East of England Ambulance Trust has been making a big effort to address people’s concerns and the problems the service has faced in the past." Alex Stewart, Healthwatch Norfolk Chief Executive