Commissioners have proposed that the Dementia Health Integration Team (HIT) subsumes the Joint Dementia Board, and therefore is now the strategic group overseeing the delivery of the dementia strategy and HIT workstreams in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. At a time of change in dementia services, commissioners felt it made sense to rationalise the groups focusing on dementia in the local area.
As a result of these changes, the HIT is now chaired by Derek Dominey, who is supported by the HIT co-directors. The HIT's terms of reference will be reviewed to ensure that there is appropriate membership of the group. This will include a review of the HIT workstreams, with the intention to integrate the hospitals dementia workstreams into the HIT. The HIT will become accountable to the Health and Wellbeing Boards as well as Bristol Health Partners.
The Joint Dementia Board brought together a wide range of individuals with an interest in dementia to share best practice and develop their knowledge of what was happening in the system, a function which is shared with the Dementia HIT.
In terms of service delivery, the Bristol Dementia Partnership (BDP) has been commissioned to run dementia services in Bristol. BDP is a union between the Devon Partnership Trust and the Alzheimer's Society. They have been commissioned to provide a primary care led service with a strong emphasis on excellent care for patients after diagnosis. The Dementia HIT and BDP are now working together to enhance care for people in Bristol affected by dementia. One BDP initiative is that each patient will have a Dementia Navigator for the course of their illness to guide to available resources. BDP also promotes dementia research. BDP's aims align very closely with the Dementia Health Integration Team, and so they have become a formal partner in the HIT and will co-lead the transforming care workstream.
Bristol Health Partners Director David Relph said: "These structural changes have propelled the Dementia HIT to the heart of dementia decision-making and service delivery in the Bristol city region. The partnership always intended for Health Integration Teams to become part of 'business as usual', and it is extremely heartening to see such a powerful example of this in action. Well done to HIT directors Liz Coulthard and Sarah Cullum, commissioner Emma Moody and HIT project manager Jude Hancock, as well as the rest of the team, for giving the Dementia HIT such drive and purpose."