Call for single, out-of-hours point of contact for Norfolk’s dementia carers

Dementia services in Norfolk will be discussed at the Norfolk Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on Thursday, April 12.

Saturday, April 7, 2012
10.30 AM

A patient watchdog is calling for a single, out-of-hours point of contact for families and carers of people with dementia.

The current state of services for people with dementia and their families will be discussed at a Norfolk Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting at 10am on Thursday at County Hall.

In a report to the scrutiny panel, Norfolk Local Involvement Network (Link) has said that it wants to see the mental health trust keep hospital beds for dementia open, at least until new Dementia Intensive Support Teams (Dist) are able to prove they are reducing assessment bed usage over a sustained period of time.

Link, which is the county’s patient champion, also recommends that there needs to be more out-of-hours support available.

The report says: “Carers do not know where to go for help, and this needs to change. Link recommends that there is a single point of access for carers / service users to see 24-hour help.”

The group has also highlighted gaps in dementia care across the county. For example, there is no specific Dementia Intensive Support Team in the west of the county, and Link wants to see this scheme expanded to cover the whole area.

Better support for carers, speeding up how long it take to put continuing care packages into place and an expanded cognitive stimulation therapy memory service are also on the health and social care watchdog’s wishlist.