After welcoming a new leadership team, our HIT has continued to strengthen partnerships and collaborations to work more closely across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG).
Identifying the need for a combined strategy for dementia for our area, we set up the BNSSG Dementia Working Group, chaired by our directors Gary Christopher and Rachel Holland. The group has developed a set of dementia-specific outputs and outcomes that will sit under the BNSSG Ageing Well Model of Care. We are now considering how current service provision could meet these outcomes and identify areas for development.
We have been working closely with members of the public to ensure the voice of people living with a dementia and their carers is integral to our work. We have run workshops for people living with dementia and their carers to engage with the Model of Care and help shape the outcomes that matter to them. Our Research Workstream has also been focusing on increasing patient and public involvement through developing sustainable systems of user involvement in dementia research.
As a HIT we have secured significant funding through the NHS Ageing Well Programme to fund 15 pilot projects across four different areas of provision:
- Ethnic minority dementia support (3 projects): delivered by Bristol Black Carers and Chinese Community Wellbeing Society: There is an identified need for more personalised care delivered in the community in a culturally appropriate and sensitive way. The range of projects acknowledge that care and support needs differ across diverse populations, however all emphasise the gap in provision within a community setting, supporting those living with dementia and their carers to live longer within their own communities.
- Dementia Meeting Centres – delivered by the charity Alive. This project will enhance post diagnostic support for those living with dementia and their carers, delivered in the community. We have opened the first Meeting Centres in North Somerset and Bristol and will be opening a further one in South Gloucestershire shortly.
- Care Home support for those living with dementia (six projects): delivered by the charity Alive. These projects offer comprehensive training and support to Care Homes to enhance and personalise the care they provide for residents living with dementia. These projects focus on empowering and equipping the carer to deliver a holistic model of care whilst providing new and innovative opportunities for residents to engage in activity that will support both their mental and physical wellbeing.
- Dementia training and coproduction (five projects). These projects will work with people with lived experience to train health and social care staff, and informal carers, in improving understanding of dementia and the care offered.