The Dementia Health Integration Team (HIT) is a team of professionals who are all working together to transform care for people affected by dementia through comprehensive research, integrating and improving care services and support, and by creating dementia-friendly communities.
Dementia care is a national and local priority. The number of people with dementia is growing due to an ageing population: 2,160 people in Bristol have been diagnosed with the condition, but historically low diagnosis rates mean the real number is estimated at 4,500. The number of dementia patients in Bristol is expected to increase by 23 per cent over the next two decades.
In South Gloucestershire the number of people with dementia aged over 65 is expected to increase dramatically from the current estimate of 3,156 people, to 4,053 in 2020. By 2030 the number of people with dementia will rise to 5,583, nearly double the current population.
The HIT uses a multi-agency approach with experts drawn from local universities, councils, NHS trusts, volunteer organisations and charities.
The HIT wants to create a climate in which health care staff feel confident about identifying and managing dementia, social care staff and carers feel confident about caring for people with the condition and the general public has a greater understanding of the disease.
The overall aim of the Dementia HIT is to achieve the best quality of life for people and families affected by dementia, by delivering:
The HIT aims to do this through five workstreams:
The leading dementia experts in Bristol are involved. The HIT directors are Hilary Archer, Consultant Neurologist North Bristol NHS Trust, Dr Maria-Paloma Sequeiros Camarinha, Psychiatrist, South Gloucestershire Later Life. Julie Clayton is the HIT co-ordinator. The executive group is made up of experts from across the Bristol Health Partners organisations.
Find out more about who's involved in the Dementia HIT.
Lorna Robertson who works for the Alzheimer's Society leads on PPI for the Dementia HIT, with the aim of ensuring that people affected by dementia are involved across the various HIT projects. The PPI workstream has established reference groups involving patients and carers in clinical service development and research.
In addition, between September 2013 and March 2014 the HIT gathered over 1,800 opinions about dementia which provided a snapshot of attitudes across Bristol. We have now launched a new online 'Attitudes to dementia' survey for 2018/19, and invite any members of the public aged over 18 to take part. The survey aims to find out if people's awareness of dementia has increased and if attitudes towards the condition have changed since 2013. The survey can be accessed here.
The Dementia HIT is strengthening collaboration and public participation in dementia research, and also developing partnerships in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to support the improvement of dementia services across the region.
We are working toward creating more resilient and dementia-friendly communities that understand dementia and help people live with, and manage, the condition. We are encouraging education and training for unpaid carers to feel better equipped to care for someone living with dementia, and for health and care professionals to feel more confident about identifying and managing dementia. We also support public events so that the general public has a greater understanding of the disease and can get involved in our work.
Additional funding would allow the HIT to expand its wide range of research, education, training and public engagement work to improve quality of life for all those affected by dementia.
A number of organisations are involved with helping to deliver the work of the HIT. Three of these are specialist dementia research centres:
Other local and national organisations collaborate on HIT projects such as:
To find out more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dementia HIT presented this poster (PDF) at the 2018 Bristol Health Partners Health Integration Team conference.