NHS Birmingham CrossCity Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is improving care for local people with dementia, by employing more specialised support workers across the CCG’s footprint.
The announcement, coming during Dementia Awareness Week, will see the recruitment of seven new support staff to give individual and personal advice for people who have just been diagnosed with the condition.
The new staff will also provide longer-term support to help people maintain their independence where possible, and improve their quality of life by ensuring they make full use of the dementia services available to them. It is hoped that the new support workers will be in place by August this year.
Clinical lead for mental health at Birmingham CrossCity CCG, Dr Aqil Chaudary, said: “We are all aware that people are living longer and anticipate that this will result in an increase in the number of people with dementia. We think that there are currently around 13,000 people in Birmingham with dementia and predict this to grow by 18 percent to 16,300 in Birmingham, by 2021.
“That’s why it’s so important that we act now, to improve the dementia care for our patients, and their carers.
“If people are worried that they or someone close to them may have dementia, it's important to talk about it with their GP. The sooner we can diagnose it the sooner people can get the support they need to help them live with the condition.”
Last year, Birmingham CrossCity CCG teamed up with other health commissioners across Birmingham and Solihull, to launch a strategy to improve the health and social care of people with dementia. One priority was to ensure that people who are diagnosed with dementia have access to the specialist advice and information that they need to understand what having dementia will mean to them and their family.