More help at hand for patients with dementia

PEOPLE in Wiltshire with dementia are now diagnosed and referred to a memory clinic in less than four weeks, according to the county’s Clinical Commissioning Group.

At the start of 2013 the wait was nine months.

The turnaround has been made possible because of a number of initiatives put in place by the Wiltshire CCG and its clinical leadership.

All Wiltshire GPs are now trained to diagnose dementia in primary care, prescribe for simple cases and they are supported by Memory Service nurses available at every surgery.

All nurses and healthcare assistants have been taught to look for signs of dementia during routine health checks and all GP practices in the county offer health checks.

Dr Celia Grummitt is a Wiltshire GP who has championed these improvements in dementia care.

She said: “Wiltshire GPs are pleased patients concerned with their memories, can now go to their local surgery for an assessment and doctors manage that diagnosis and treat patients locally.”

The Clinical Commissioning Group supported bids from both Salisbury Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal United Hospital Bath, for funds to create dementia-friendly wards for patients admitted with medical problems in addition to their dementia.

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