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Council asks you to help improve the lives of those living with dementia

More than 30,000 people in West Sussex are Dementia Friends, and West Sussex County Council is encouraging all of its staff and residents to join the programme.

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The focus comes in support of Dementia Action Week, which is running from 20-26 May 2019.

Dementia is rapidly becoming the defining health issue of our time, with the numbers of people living with the condition increasing and no treatment to prevent or cure the underlying diseases. However we believe that life doesn’t end when dementia begins. 

Over the duration of the week, a range of events, such as Memory Cafes and ‘Ask the Expert’ will be taking place across the county, aimed to raise awareness of the matter and share information. 

As part of these events, Human Story Theatre is presenting Connie’s Colander across various West Sussex libraries. A drama intertwining a mother and daughter’s journey with dementia, tickets to the stripped-back, intimate show are free and can be booked via Eventbrite. The drama is crammed with all emotions and lots of laughs, alongside an informal Q&A session, facilitated by the two actors and local dementia specialists.

Amanda Jupp, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said:

“Dementia affects each person differently. Therefore it is really important that we understand how to recognise when someone is living with the condition.

“I cannot emphasise the importance of becoming a Dementia Friend enough. None of us are immune to the disease, so it is vital that we help to make a difference and continue to reduce the stigma surrounding it.”  

Around 14,000 people are estimated to have dementia in West Sussex and that figure is expected to reach 18,000 over the next six years.

More advice on dementia, as well as information on the upcoming events, can be found at www.westsussex.gov.uk/daw19.

Community

Local volunteers drive GPs to essential home visits in Crawley

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Image: Dr Phoebe Danes and volunteer Chris Ball.

Local volunteers have stepped up to help drive clinicians to home visits during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The initiative was launched by local GP federation Alliance for Better Care, who have rented black cabs to provide essential transport for clinicians attending patients’ homes. 

The taxis, which have been adapted to make them easier to clean, are driven by volunteer drivers who have come forward via various community Facebook groups.

Thanks to the layout of the cab, drivers are completely separated from the clinician who is also afforded extra space in the cab to put on PPE and write up notes. 

Matt Cullis, practice manager at Leacroft Medical Practice said:

“Our surgery is still open to treat patients, however, home visits have become particularly important for those who are shielding and not wanting to leave their homes. This service saves us time and allows our doctors to travel to appointments in an environment that can be easily cleaned and has room to put on PPE.”

Alliance for Better Care is the GP federation for Crawley, Horsham, Mid-Sussex and East Surrey and so far the project has been rolled out at Leacroft Surgery in Crawley and throughout Burgess Hill, with plans to extend it to East Grinstead and Horley in the coming weeks.

Katherine Saunders, ABC chief executive said:

“We have been overwhelmed with the number of volunteers who have come forward and we’d like to thank them all for offering to support this service. We are, of course, committed to protecting both our volunteers and our clinicians. We insure drivers and carry out all necessary checks while also providing PPE. This is a valuable resource for our clinicians, and increases our capacity to reach more patients.”

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