A new service, Dementia Support UK: Connect, Consult has been set up to provide immediate expert support for staff who are caring for those living with dementia.
The service has been funded by Innovate UK. It is provided by HammondCare and is now available to every care home in England. The service provides care home managers and their staff with access to a trained consultant at no cost to provide personal, non-pharmacological support through video conferencing and telephone consultation.
It addresses an urgent need to help people living with dementia in care homes, their families and staff.
Associate Professor Colm Cunningham, Director of Dementia Centre, HammondCare said, 'The aim of the service is to help staff, solve problems and give them confidence. We know that the care sector has been severely impacted by COVID-19, carers feel isolated and routines and support networks have been interrupted...Our consultants will be able to offer advice and support and share their extensive knowledge of dementia-related behaviours. We are a listening ear and additional support to help them offer the best care.
'We know, from working with this model of care, that if people living with dementia and care partners are supported in times of disruption, we can reduce the need for more costly health resources, such as hospital care.'
Executive Director of the National Care Forum, Vic Rayner, is supportive of this new service. She says,'Dementia care is a highly specialist area of care and ensuring the consistent delivery of person-centred care within a global pandemic is paramount. Therefore, it is very helpful at this time, that this new service provided by HammondCare and funded by Innovate UK will allow care homes free access to expertise from specialist colleagues to support the continued delivery of high-quality care across the country.'
Dementia Support UK: Connect, Consult has been adapted from a tried and tested and approach developed in Australia through a programme led by the Dementia Centre, HammondCare. Since the start of that programme in 2016, the partnership has supported over 25,000 people with dementia in care homes, domestic homes and hospitals.
Care homes can access Dementia Support UK: Connect, Consult in the first instance by visiting the website.