NHS Launches New Dementia Diagnosis Drive in Central Bedfordshire 

NHS Launches New Dementia Diagnosis Drive in Central Bedfordshire  image

Home » NHS Launches New Dementia Diagnosis Drive in Central Bedfordshire 

A new specialist dementia diagnosis service is being set up by the Trust in Central Bedfordshire as part of a national NHS pilot. Care home residents will be assessed for the condition by specialist nurses and other healthcare professionals. 

Fourteen new pilot sites across the country are involved in the rollout of the programme, backed by £900,000 from NHS England. 

During the pandemic, the number of people diagnosed with dementia reduced by more than 28,000 with elderly people isolated from others to protect themselves from Covid meaning family members and others had less chance to spot that their loved one may have dementia. 

Through the new programme healthcare professionals will seek out care home residents who do not have a dementia diagnosis and ensure they are given a full face-to-face assessment at their home.  

The clinician will review a person’s use of anti-psychotic medication as well as speaking to the care home resident’s family and friends to determine whether they have dementia. 

A dementia diagnosis helps NHS and care home staff manage people’s condition better and ensures they are not prescribed unnecessary medication.

Funding has been awarded to East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) to provide the additional support initially for one year.  “We are delighted to have been chosen to help lead this important step forward in NHS dementia diagnosis,” said Sharon Jackson, Assistant Director for the Trust’s Pan Bedfordshire Older Peoples Community Mental Health & Dementia Services. “It is also important for the communities we serve in Central Bedfordshire, where we have a high population of over 65-year-olds but consistently low numbers of confirmed dementia diagnosis.” 

A dementia diagnosis helps NHS and care home staff manage people’s condition better and ensures they are not prescribed unnecessary medication. The 14 pilots spread across the country will be launched this month following a successful trial in Norfolk.  

Professor Alistair Burns, NHS England’s national clinical director for dementia, also encouraged people to watch out for signs of the condition. “If you notice over the festive period that someone has symptoms, please encourage them to visit their GP for an assessment – the sooner someone is seen the quicker the NHS can support them,” he said. 

Further information: NHS Launches New Dementia Diagnosis Drive

Article from East London NHS Foundation Trust

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