Posted by Sophie Lyon at 29/09/2015 09:23:02
For anyone who is worried about their memory, or who has just received a diagnosis of dementia it can be a difficult and emotional time. But understanding the process around a dementia diagnosis and having access to the right support can help ease these worries and provide reassurance in planning for the future. So, NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched the Dementia Roadmap, a website to guide local people through the dementia diagnosis journey.
Dementia Roadmap - available at http://dementiaroadmap.info/westkent/ - is a dedicated new resource that provides information about the wide variety local and national services, and community support groups offering advice.
Primarily designed for people working in primary care, the website is a valuable tool to support GPs, practice nurses, dementia navigators and practice managers, as well as those living with and for carers of people with dementia.
A benefit of using the Dementia Roadmap in primary care is supporting GPs and practice nurses to introduce questions about memory functioning, and assess and identify patients who present with symptoms suggestive of dementia. They will be supported to reassure patients and their families and carers at diagnosis and during the dementia journey by signposting them to local resources, information and support.
For patients and their families and carers, the Dementia Roadmap can help promote positive messages about remaining independent and living with dementia, and prevent unnecessary admission to hospital for patients with memory problems in crisis by providing practical information on help and support.
There is also a wealth of information on support for carers to maintain their health and wellbeing, and provide opportunities for respite for the person they care for.
Dr David Chesover, clinical lead for mental health at NHS West Kent CCG said: “I am pleased we are able to support practices and their patients through a diagnosis of dementia and looking to life afterwards.
“An early diagnosis is vital as treatment can now help many patients diagnosed with dementia maintain better health and independence for much longer. Equally, being able to access local services which support not only the patient but their families and carers makes a real difference.”
Jackie Swapp, Alzheimer's Society Operations Manager for Kent and Medway, said: "We believe every person with dementia has the right to appropriate post-diagnosis support.
“This new roadmap will support GPs and other health and care professionals in providing much-needed support. It's also useful for people with dementia and their carers living west Kent."
NHS West Kent CCG has worked with the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Pathfinders CIC to launch the website, which has been developed in a partnership between the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Department of Health.
NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group plans and buys healthcare for the people of Maidstone, Tonbridge and Malling, Tunbridge Wells and the southern part of Sevenoaks.