Dementia United - women in cafe

Dementia United aims to improve daily life

A new partnership, Dementia United, has been launched to transform the experiences of the 22,000 people who will be living with dementia by 2020 in Greater Manchester.

Dementia United – led by Sir David Dalton of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Alzheimer’s Society and Greater Manchester health and social care devolution team – is a vehicle to help experts and patients come together to look at ways of improving all aspects of daily life for people living with dementia in the region. It will also involve a range of associated organisations from charity groups, emergency services, mental health providers and housing and cultural organisations.

This collaborative approach, which will consider a range of elements from housing to transport and work and shopping, will result in a proposed five-year programme for Greater Manchester in March 2016.

Sir David Dalton, Chief Executive of Salford Royal, said: “Dementia United provides a perfect platform to address the Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia care.

“It is incredibly ambitious, seeking to change the commissioning of services and provision of care while also testing new care models. It will support people to live, full, active and meaningful lives. To do this we believe that we will need to change everything, from the transport systems, emergency services, shops and workplaces, and health and social care. Dementia United and Greater Manchester Devolution will help us achieve this.”

Dementia United aims to build on existing strengths in the area to put a strong focus on improving early diagnosis and post diagnosis support, to improving hospital care and creating dementia-friendly communities. It will also aim to reduce any variation in care across Greater Manchester, as well as looking at how new technologies could be used to support people with dementia and their treatment.

Ann Johnson, from Trafford who was diagnosed with dementia aged 52, is an Alzheimer’s Society ambassador. Anne said: “I believe people can live well with dementia, but the support has to be there throughout the entire journey no matter where you live.”

In total, it is estimated that the health and care system in Greater Manchester spends £270m a year treating and caring for people with dementia. By improving care and support, Dementia United aims to reduce the figure in five years’ time by 20% – mainly associated with unplanned hospital admissions and admissions to care homes.

George McNamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “At the moment, dementia care across Greater Manchester and the rest of the UK is a postcode lottery for people with dementia and their carers.

“How likely you are to get a diagnosis, and how much support you will get after diagnosis varies significantly as you go from one local authority area to another. Dementia United offers a once-in-a-generation chance to change this.”

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