6th December 2018
Emergency Services across Wales are working together to deliver better services for people living with dementia, their carers and families.
The Welsh Ambulance Service, four Welsh Police forces, Fire and Rescue Services and Mountain Rescue, are often on the frontline when it comes to helping people living with dementia, and now they are coming together in a new training initiative that will ensure emergency services staff across Wales who come into contact with people affected by dementia, have the training and understanding to support them as fully as possible.
Alison Johnstone, Programme Manager for Dementia at the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, chairs of the Blue Light Dementia Group, which has set about improving services ad experiences for people living with Dementia who may need the help of Welsh emergency services: “We know that any emergency situation is stressful and this is especially true for people living with dementia,” explains Alison.
“Dementia is the biggest health and social care challenge facing our society, we want to come together as a group to support the communities that we live and work in to become more dementia friendly.”
The group comes together as part of wider work in the UK for the emergency services to step up support people living with dementia. It also shares best practice and learning from other partners.
Sue Phelps, Country Director of Alzheimer’s Society Cymru, said: “We’re delighted that the Blue Light Emergency services in Wales are uniting to improve their services for people with dementia.
“There are 45,000 people living with dementia in Wales and the emergency services play a vital role in their safety and wellbeing. It’s crucial that their support needs are fully understood and met.
“Becoming a dementia-friendly organisation doesn't always mean a big investment. Often it is just about organisations assessing the way they deliver services and changing the way they respond.”
In addition to the training programme, The Blue Light Dementia Group has also been holding a series of awareness events in Wales, working with Dementia Support Groups to provide emergency services staff with the best sources of information and guidance in dealing with people living with Dementia.
For more information, please contact Alison Johnstone, Programme Manager for Dementia, Alison.Johnstone@wales.nhs.uk
Notes to editors:
Any media enquiries should be emailed to WAS.Communications@wales.nhs.uk or alternatively, call the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust communications department on 01745 532511