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  • E-Newsletter 30 Nov 2018

    E-Newsletter 30 Nov 2018

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include standards of hospital care for people with dementia in Wales and new research on people with young onset dementia in the workplace. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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  • Welsh speakers with dementia are losing out

    Welsh speakers with dementia are losing out

    30.11.18 Welsh speakers living with dementia are being put at a disadvantage because care staff are communicating only in English, the Welsh Language Commissioner has found. In one case, a care home resident did not speak at all because staff were unaware that he could talk only in Welsh and had lost his ability to speak English. “We presumed that he couldn’t speak until one of the managers said a few words in Welsh and he started speaking straight away,” the care home manager said. “Not broken Welsh but fully fluent... the opportunity to speak Welsh had a huge effect on him.” A report by the commissioner and Alzheimer’s Society Cymru says that the needs of Welsh speakers are going unmet, even though government policy states that “care through the medium of Welsh is a clinical need, not a matter of choice.”

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  • £3.5 billion cash boost includes NHS help for care homes

    £3.5 billion cash boost includes NHS help for care homes

    29.11.18 Primary and community care services are to receive a cash injection of an additional £3.5 billion a year under the forthcoming 10 year plan for the NHS. Announcing the new funding, PM Theresa May said it would cut needless hospital admissions and help patients return home sooner thanks to community-based rapid response teams and dedicated support for care home residents. Rapid response teams, made up of doctors, nurses and physiotherapists, would provide 24/7 urgent care in the community, while health care professionals would be assigned to care homes in order to provide tailored treatment and support, including emergency care out of hours. NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said the NHS long-term plan would include a “guarantee” that primary and community care would “get a growing share of the growing NHS budget.” The additional funding, to be taken from a £20 billion boost promised for the health service as a whole, is due to kick in by 2023/24.

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  • How people with dementia are starting to influence scientific research

    How people with dementia are starting to influence scientific research

    28.11.18 A project designed to give people with dementia influence over scientific research has resulted in a movie exploring the ethical, legislative and practical issues associated with animal research into dementia. The movie, “Of Mice and Dementia”, is a filmed conversation about animal experiments in dementia research between scientists and lay people with direct experience of dementia. In an article for the journal Dementia written by academics involved, the authors say that a greater willingness among scientists to discuss these issues “may be of key importance for improving both the nature of scientific research conducted and its subsequent impact on society.” Dr Francesco Tamagnini, from Reading University, said having a “full and frank discussion” about animal research in dementia had been “eye-opening”. Watch Of Mice and Dementia here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_38oKJzifI&feature=youtu.be.

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  • Cost analysis shows more training can save thousands of pounds

    Cost analysis shows more training can save thousands of pounds

    27.11.18 A major study has found that better staff training and less reliance on antipsychotic medication in care homes can save thousands of pounds every year. Figures showing potential savings were released this week by the WHELD study team, which looked at the beneficial effects of improving staff interactions with residents, more activities focusing on residents’ own interests, and GP training to reduce antipsychotic prescribing. The study of 69 care homes found cost savings of £4,000 per care home over the nine-month study, the result of a reduction in emergency and routine hospital admissions as well as less contact with GPs, partly because of reduced agitation. Savings were £2,000 per care home once the cost of implementing the WHELD programme in the home was taken into account. The new report on WHELD’s cost effectiveness can be found in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia at www.alzheimersanddementia.com/article/S1552-5260(18)33519-2/fulltext

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  • Try DementiaJobs.org, the new website for jobseekers and advertisers

    Try DementiaJobs.org, the new website for jobseekers and advertisers

    26.11.18 Looking for a new job in dementia care or want to advertise one? Look no further than our new dementia care recruitment website www.DementiaJobs.org where for a limited period all jobs postings are free of charge! We see our new website as a great way to tackle the crisis in dementia care recruitment, by helping jobseekers find the right job more easily and helping employers find jobseekers who are passionate about dementia care. You can also sign up for regular email updates on the latest jobs. And we want to hear your thoughts on how we should develop our new website – just email feedback@dementiajobs.org.

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  • E-Newsletter 23 Nov 2018

    E-Newsletter 23 Nov 2018

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include new plans for dedicated NHS support for care homes and research findings on cost saving interventions for care homes. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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  • GP surgeries in pilot project to raise awareness of YOD

    GP surgeries in pilot project to raise awareness of YOD

    23.11.18 An eight-week awareness raising pilot project for young onset dementia has been launched in GP surgeries across Oxfordshire, Kent and Derbyshire. The initiative to display posters and leaflets in GP practices comes from the Young Dementia Network, whose membership has now reached more than 2,000 people and which promotes awareness of the condition. Surgeries in the three counties have volunteered to take the awareness-raising posters and leaflets, and patients will be encouraged to feed back their thoughts on these resources. The network hopes to run the initiative on a national scale next year.

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  • Best practice guidance for end of life care for people with dementia

    Best practice guidance for end of life care for people with dementia

    22.11.18 Guidance on end of life care decision-making for people with dementia, described as a “synthesis of best practice”, has been produced by a London research team. The team from University College London and King’s College London has come up with four rules of thumb (“heuristics”), which can be used in care settings ranging from hospital to the community, to give guidance on routine care, agitation and restlessness, reviewing treatment and interventions, and eating/swallowing difficulties. According to the research team, the heuristics are easy to follow and act as a training aid for staff in care homes and other settings where they face challenges in caring for people with dementia at the end of life. “The rise of the condition is seeing an increased reliance on care homes and also acute care settings where clinical staff have less experience of palliation and end of life care,” said Dr Nathan Davies, who helped design the heuristics.

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  • Matt Hancock says 'social prescribing' can save money for the NHS

    Matt Hancock says 'social prescribing' can save money for the NHS

    21.11.18 Arts and social activities can help to move towards more person-centred care and focus on prevention as much as cure, health and social care secretary Matt Hancock told an audience in London last week. Calling for more “social prescribing” – in which medical professionals like GPs issue prescriptions for social activities rather than medicines – Hancock said it was scientifically proven that access to the arts and social activities improved mental and physical health. “The arts and social activities can help meet major challenges facing health and social care – ageing, loneliness, mental health and other long-term conditions," he said. "And [they] can help save money for the NHS and social care system.” Hancock referred to several arts initiatives around the country, including the Southbank Centre in London which is running a poetry course for people with dementia and their families overseen by practising poets.

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