06 July 2016

Dementia conference puts spotlight on Bristol Dementia Wellbeing Service

Dementia Wellbeing ConferenceHealthcare professionals from around the country travelled to Bristol in June, to find out how the Bristol Dementia Wellbeing Service has transformed diagnosis and support in the city.

Bristol's dementia diagnosis rate is now one of the highest in the South West. This has been made possible following an overhaul of the service, carried out by NHS Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) working in partnership with Alzheimer's Society.

Launched in April 2015, the new Bristol Mental Health service is now delivered entirely within primary care, meaning potential lengthy referrals and waits are no longer necessary. This change happened following an engagement process that included service users, GPs and specialists.

The new Dementia Wellbeing Service allows people to self-refer and, once initial contact has been made, a record is opened and an individual wellbeing plan developed. The service employs 29 dementia practitioners and 26 dementia navigators based in three hubs across the city, providing named support to every GP practice and care home. This ensures a seamless service which has resulted in improved outcomes and experience of care for patients.

The fully booked conference at Ashton Gate Stadium included a talk from guest speaker Professor Alistair Burns, NHS England's Clinical Director for Dementia, as well as Bristol GPs.

Dr Pippa Stables, Bristol CCG's Clinical Lead for Dementia, says: "… A lot of work has gone into the Bristol Dementia Wellbeing Service and we are proud to be leading the way in terms of diagnosis and treatment. The new service has been very well received by services users and their families as well as by healthcare professionals."

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