March 24, 2017
The East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) is taking steps to become dementia friendly by 2020. They are the first ambulance trust in the UK to make the move and aim to offer a service that will fully cater to dementia sufferers. This means that staff will fully understand the condition, know how to deal with patients and have the correct equipment.
The move comes at a time when over 850,000 people have dementia in the UK with that number set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. Managers have been working with the Alzheimer’s Society to develop the dementia awareness training. This will be rolled out across all staff members to help them understand the disease. The trust will also listen to feedback from patients to improve services. This will include upgrading ambulances to become more accessible for frail patients. Over the next four years the trust hopes to create over 5,000 ‘Dementia Friends’ across the organisation.
“We recognise that we need to expand our training and education with patient facing staff, to support people living with dementia going forward.”
Duncan Moore, Mental Health Leader for the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, said: “We recognise that dementia is becoming more common in the patients we respond to, this not only affects the patient but families and carers as well. We recognise that we need to expand our training and education with patient facing staff, to support people living with dementia going forward. We also know that dementia can affect any family, so some of our crews may be going home and supporting a parent or grandparent with dementia”.
Geoff Moore, Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) Coordinator in the East of England, also commented: “We’re delighted to welcome EEAST to the growing community of DAAs across the region. Their excellent action plan and membership is a real boost to the efforts being made to create Dementia Friendly communities in the East of England – where there are more than 82,000 people diagnosed with dementia”.