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Newly diagnosed dementia patients to receive dedicated 'champion' care


Nurses who help dementia patients in Scotland now have access to advice on how to deliver a better standard of care.

A total of 100 dementia champions are now operating across the country to improve care available to people with the condition.

The “champions” have been trained by the University of the West of Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland, and are the first of 300 scheduled to be in operation by this time next year. They include nurses, allied health professionals and clinical managers.

Alzheimer Scotland specialist nurses are also being appointed to every health board in the country.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to introduce targets for post-diagnostic support next year in order to ensure that dementia patients get the care they need once they have been diagnosed.

Under the plans, newly diagnosed patients will receive a minimum of one year’s worth of “person-centred support” from a dedicated healthcare worker.

Senior charge nurse Lee O’Connor said: “I was delighted to be nominated as one of the first dementia champions in Glasgow and feel more able now to influence others in supporting people with dementia when they are in hospital.”


Readers' comments (5)

  • Why Scotland only?

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  • "Under the plans, newly diagnosed patients will receive a minimum of one year’s worth of “person-centred support” from a dedicated healthcare worker."

    what happens after this?

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  • this has to be a good start, but that is all it is, a start. the needs of those living with demantia only increases with time.

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  • Anonymous | 12-Apr-2012 10:59 am

    'Why Scotland only? '

    Because the NHS in Scotland is run quite differently from England. Most of the stories on the NT site, particularly about the reforms within the NHS in England, are not relevant to the NHS in the rest of the UK. However, there are still common issues around staffing levels, pay & conditions, pensions etc.

    Anonymous | 12-Apr-2012 10:25 pm

    I agree. My father has Alzheimer's and my family, in common with many thousands of families in the same position, struggle to look after him with very little support. He had access to a memory clinic, was diagnosed quickly and commenced on Aricept. Initially, we were given a good amount of information. 4 years on, his condition has progressed to severe and we are sick of services which are not suitable, joined up and frequently fail. The fact is, most carers of people with dementia are unsupported. The cost is huge emotionally, financially and in terms of the health of the carers themselves. This is decent start, but much more needs to be done. We must be prepared for the long haul.

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  • Anonymous | 15-Apr-2012 3:41 pm

    These champions seem to be only available as a resource in hospital. Given that the vast majority of people with dementia are cared for within the community, by mostly unqualified family and friends, then a lot more work needs to be done. Lack of resources and support on a day to day basis are the biggest problems.

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