Lyme Regis Medical Centre becomes Dementia Friendly

Lyme Regis Medical Centre has been accredited as a ‘Dementia Friendly’ surgery for delivering better support and care for people who live with the illness and their carers when they come into the service.

The service, run by Virgin Care, is one of the GP practices in the Lyme Regis/Charmouth area to be accredited by Wessex Academic Health Science Network, who manage and fund the project. Lyme Regis joins 150 other surgeries across Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, which are already accredited.

As part of the service’s commitments the team has been able to identify a dementia champion within the surgery who works in partnership with the surgery’s team.

All colleagues have also been trained on how to better work together as a group to understand how people with dementia are experiencing the illness to provide improved care to them.

This is a result of Lyme Regis Medical Centre implementing the iSPACE actions designed to improve the patient experience through delivery of a set of improvements in care planning, communications and awareness of dementia for staff in primary care settings.

These include:

I – Identify a dementia champion,

S – Staff Training,

P – Partnership working with patients, carers, and the voluntary sector,

A – Assessment and oversight of use of anti-psychotics,

C – Care planning and use of tools such as ‘This is Me’,

E – Ensure the environment supports people with dementia and other disabilities.

The Dementia Friendly project was first piloted in Hampshire, implemented on the Isle of Wight and then evaluated by the Wessex Academic Health Science Network Centre for Implementation Science at the University of Southampton. This project has shown good outcomes for patients and is now being spread across Wessex.

Alison Robinson, Service Manager at Lyme Regis Medical Centre, said: “The accreditation is a testament to the work done by the service. Over the past year we’ve worked towards being dementia friendly by using this programme to help us work with patients and our colleagues in a way that is suitable for people with dementia needs.”

Katherine Barbour, Senior Project Manager at Wessex Academic Health Science Network, added: “Lyme Regis has enthusiastically engaged with the project, and is now able to better support people living with dementia and their carers dealing with a very complex and distressing disease.

“Over 50% of surgeries in Dorset have adopted steps to become dementia friendly, all of which have seen improvements in the services offered for patients, and their carers.”

More information, including free resources about iSPACE, can be found at www.wessexahsn.org.uk/ispace.

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