Dementia HIT 2022-23

Co-directors Gary Christopher, Rachel Holland and Isobel Jones look back at the HIT's achievements in the last year.

  • 1st April 2023

Piloting innovative dementia projects

The HIT secured more than three quarters of a million pounds in NHS Ageing Well Service Development funding in 2021 for 15 pilot projects to explore ways to improve dementia services. In 2022-23 the organisations involved have been running and evaluating these pilots. Thirteen of the projects received continuation of funding to September of 2023-24, including: 

  • Establishing new dementia meeting centres in the region, where people living with a dementia and their carers have received help adjusting to the changes that dementia brings.  
  • Enhancing culturally appropriate dementia support to people from ethnically diverse communities following a dementia diagnosis. One example is a new Carers’ Hub for East and South East Asian people caring for those with dementia. 
  • Supporting care home staff and residents, such as the One Good Turn intergenerational linking project, which connects schools and youth organisations with care homes through face-to-face meetings and art and writing exchanges.  
  • Designing and delivering five free online workshops for health and social care and voluntary sector staff, covering topics such as modifiable risk factors for dementia, emotions and fatigue, plus three face-to-face sessions. 

Using arts-based interventions in post-diagnostic support

Arts based interventions with ethnically diverse community groups got underway, following NHS Charities Together Funding awarded to the HIT in 2021.  Projects include a singing and performance programme for Dhek Bhal’s Elderly Women’s Group, and a programme of interventions run by the Chinese Community Wellbeing Service, including group walking, meditation and dance.  The programme also included sessions on pelvic floor exercise led by the Bladder and Bowel Confidence HIT. 

Addressing race-related health inequalities

People living with dementia from South Asian communities can now benefit from improved culturally sensitive support, thanks to a new online toolkit hosted by the Race Equality Foundation.  The South Asian Dementia Pathway Toolkit (ADaPT) was co-developed by HIT research workstream lead Professor Rik Cheston. 

Promoting dementia research

UWE Bristol hosted the British Society of Gerontology Conference in July 2022, attended by more than 400 delegates from 23 countries. 

HIT directors Dr Rachel Holland and Isobel Jones presented at the UK Dementia Congress in 2022.  

Strengthening provider network

The HIT has re-established the Dementia Providers’ Forum, with a rotating chair between organisations and a successful event in April 2023. It has provided a valuable network to share details of services across the region, increasing service information and opportunities for signposting and referrals. 

Funding enabled in 2022-23

Dementia HIT helped secure £22,540 in 2022-23 for research, improving outcomes and addressing health inequalities.