January 5, 2018
The Welsh Ambulance Service has pledged to make their patient transport fleet more dementia friendly by launching a three-year action plan. With dementia set to be the biggest healthcare challenge of the 21st century the trust is keen to develop their services to offer sufferers the support they really need. The plan focuses on three key areas – non-emergency patient transport, unscheduled care, and advice services. The trust will work with staff, carers, family and service users to understand what changes they need to make and will also offer training, support and advice.
“As a front-line service, the Welsh Ambulance Service plays a pivotal and direct role in helping to support people affected by dementia.”
Currently the trust helps thousands of patients attend hospital and doctor’s appointments, many of which suffer from dementia. The trust wants to make travelling to medical appointments comfortable, safe and easy for dementia patients so they’re looking to improve their service area environments. As well as the patient transport fleet this also includes hospital liaison sites.
Alison Johnstone, of the Patient Experience and Community Involvement Team, said: “In our plan, we highlight the role the Welsh Ambulance Service has to play and the work we’ll deliver over the next three years to improve the service we provide for people living with dementia. The development of a national plan will help us to become an organisation that responds to the clinical and emotional needs of people living with dementia, their carers and families.”
The Alzheimer’s Society estimates that there are more than 45,000 people living with dementia in Wales. The trust will work with these people, their families and medical staff in order to implement the plan. They’re looking to capture the views of their staff and users and educate people on how to deal with the disease. They’ll also encourage their staff to become dementia ambassadors.
Sue Phelps MBE, Country Director for Alzheimer’s Society Cymru, is working with the trust to help put the plan in place.
She said: “We’re thrilled to see the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust leading the way within the health and social care sector through the launch of their dementia plan for the next three years. As a front-line service, the Welsh Ambulance Service plays a pivotal and direct role in helping to support people affected by dementia and supporting the creation of a dementia-friendly Wales.
“The Trust’s continuous commitment to working towards becoming a dementia-friendly community is to be commended. Their Dementia Plan has been developed through engagement with Alzheimer’s Society’s Service User Review Panel, the members of which all have dementia. This illustrates the Trust’s approach to listening to the views of people affected by dementia and meeting their needs and wants.”