New dementia toolkit is an Aladdin’s cave of information

Dementia Interactive Care Pathway Toolkit provides a one-stop shop resource for professionals working in dementia care.

Following a partnership between academia, the NHS and the third sector, clinicians can now access a free toolkit containing a comprehensive roadmap and resources for the care of people with dementia.

The Dementia Interactive Care Pathway Toolkit maps out a care pathway a dementia patient will follow and provides an aide-memoire for the services and support needed from diagnosis to end-of-life care.

The toolkit’s invaluable compendium of resources can be accessed via an interactive PDF which enables clinicians to easily navigate the different elements of the care pathway and access relevant documents and further information all in one place.

It helps all professionals involved in the care of people with dementia, including commissioners, to plan services, and has a particular focus on supporting patients to stay well in order to promote independence and avoid crisis.

The toolkit is the brainchild of Dementia Academy Faculty members Dr Iracema Leroi, Sue Thomas and Dr Tony Burch who worked in partnership with the University of Manchester and Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire Strategic Clinical Network (SCN), and with support from Wilmington Healthcare. A range of stakeholders – including people with dementia, their carers, medical professionals, police and ambulance personnel, social workers and commissioners, were also involved in the creation of the toolkit. Consequently, it reflects first hand experiences of the challenges involved in dementia care.

This toolkit compliments and offers another opportunity to improve and advance the work of the Greater Manchester (GM) strategy for Dementia, known as Dementia United.

Dementia United,through a partnership approach, aims to improve the lived experience of people with dementia, reduce variation in services and care and reduce dependence on health and social care.. This resource aligns with the Living Well Pathway as do the Dementia United Standards.

Sarah Gillett, Managing Director of the Dementia Academy said:

“Patients with dementia have complex needs which can be best supported when a true synergy is achieved across the different health and social care disciplines.

The toolkit is a powerful resource for supporting health professionals across the country to deliver best practice dementia care services. We hope that it will enhance the dedicated efforts of the many people looking after people with dementia in England.”

Dr Iracema Leroi, who is a Faculty member at the Dementia Academy, and Clinical Senior Lecturer Honorary Consultant in Psychiatry, University of Manchester, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust Institute of Brain, Behaviour and Mental Health, said:

“This pathway is a wonderful new tool to help frontline professionals support people with dementia and their carers. It’s a veritable ‘Aladdin’s cave’ of interesting bits of information and guidance about the multitude of problems which people with dementia may face.

We intend the tool to be dynamic and flexible so that anyone using it can adapt it to their own local circumstances and update it as new evidence about better care becomes available. It can be stored on a desktop for ‘quick reference ‘ and each component can be studied in more depth as required. We are sure that it will become an invaluable part of daily practice to support people with dementia.”

Professor Alistair Burns, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry and Vice Dean for the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences at The University of Manchester, said:

“Dementia United is aiming to make Greater Manchester the best place in the world to live with dementia, but we won’t be able to do this alone. It is important to work collaboratively, drawing on the great work and examples of others to drive our ambition forward and empower health professionals.

We have made great progress and at our showcase event held in November 2016 we put the spotlight on best practise to inspire and engage – and this toolkit is certainly one of those examples.

The toolkit is a vital and comprehensive piece of work. I would describe it more as an Aladdin’s lamp which when you rub it (clicking being the modern equivalent of rubbing) you get all the information you need.”

Dementia Academy Faculty member Sue Thomas, who facilitated the creation of the toolkit through her role as CEO of Commissioning Excellence services at Wilmington Healthcare, added:

“We have been delighted to facilitate the development and publication of this toolkit which adds to the wide range of integrated care pathways that are available currently.”

The Dementia Interactive Care Pathway Toolkit is available to use or download by clicking here.

The toolkit will be checked annually for updates (or if major changes occur to policy).

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