£2m service to aid dementia sufferers

DEMENTIA sufferers and their families are to get help from a new support service being launched in South Tyneside

Published on Saturday 12 May 2012 07:20


The new initiative, called the Memory Protection Service, aims to provide access to information, support, early diagnosis, treatment and care for people with the condition along with their families and carers.

The service, which will cost £2m a year to run, is being paid for by NHS South of Tyne and Wear and run by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, which specialises in mental health and disability care.

Dr Matthew Walmsley, chairman of South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The memory protection service brings together health professionals involved in all aspects of dementia care to ensure the journey through the system for patients, their carers and families is as smooth as possible.”

“The service is helping support GPs and local health services to offer improved care sufferers, their families and carers.”

The programme aims to improve early diagnosis of dementia which can lead to better quality of life for the sufferer and longer periods of independence.

It will focus on improving access to dementia care and treatment and will help link sufferers and their carers with the appropriate services.

Mr Walmsley said: “We are delighted to support the development of this service, which aims at encouraging people with early indications of a memory deficit to receive timely help and support.

“Taking early action in the safeguarding of memory function offers the best opportunity for individuals to maximise their future independence and choice, and represents a more positive, pro-active approach to an increasingly recognised need.”

There are about 1,700 new cases of dementia in South Tyneside, Gateshead and Sunderland each year and it is estimated this figure will rise by 30 to 40 per cent over the next 15 years.

Mr Walmsley added: “It’s vitally important that we have the right services and measures in place to ensure early diagnosis and high quality treatment at every stage of the illness.

“If anyone is worried about their own or a loved one’s memory, they should talk to their GP.”

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