New service for dementia sufferers in the Borders

A REDESIGN in dementia services with the aim of making life easier for those suffering with the condition and their carers has been unveiled in the Borders.

Following the launch of a National Dementia Strategy by the Scottish Government in June 2010 and the launch of the National Dementia Standards in June 2011 a project group was established in the Borders – Scottish Borders Dementia Strategic Partnership Group – to deliver three agreed priority areas in order to support people through their journey with dementia.

This work aims to: maintain and improve the health and well-being of people with dementia and their carers; deliver services in line with evidence about what works well to improve care and well-being for people with dementia; minimise unnecessary barriers so that people with dementia can receive the right support at the right time, at the right place by right person and ensure that all organisations work together to improve outcomes for people with dementia and their carers.

In addition to developing an Integrated Care Pathway so people with dementia and their carers will have equal access to a consistently high quality service and support, and meeting the national target to ensure people who have dementia are able to access early diagnosis and support, one of the priorities of the partnership group was to redesign services to reduce the need for people to have to go into hospital when they can be supported at home; build strong community and day services and improve people’s access to support.

The redesign of NHS Borders services, which was approved in May this year, focuses on supporting people where they live and working together with families and care teams to provide the best possible support package.

This means all in-patient complex care for people with dementia will be based at Melburn Lodge at Borders General Hospital.

There is also substantial re-investment of resources into community and resource centre services.

To inform Borders residents of the changes in services a number of drop-in sessions were held last week although none of these were held in Berwickshire.

Events were held in St Boswells, Peebles, Galashiels and Hawick and a spokesperson for NHS Borders said that support for dementia sufferers in Berwickshire comes from Poynderview Resource Centre, Kelso, so two sessions were held there.