Support team to help dementia

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Families in South Holland affected by dementia can now get support from a specialist team at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

A service to help improve care for people with dementia has been launched through a partnership between Alzheimer’s Society and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT).

Three staff members based at Pilgrim Hospital seven days a week will provide support to dementia patients, carers and families, offering advice and information on any support available to them.

The service is thought to be the first of its kind in the country and although staff will not be providing clinical support, they will act as a link between the hospital and the community.

Ian Howarth, East Midlands area manager for the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “This service is revoluntionary because it helps the hospital staff providing care to someone with dementia to have improved understanding of the person.

“It also encourages better communication between the patient, families, hospital staff and community support services, as well as aiming to help improve early diagnosis rates and expand carer support.

“We are confident that the average length of stay of people with dementia will become shorter as the service becomes effective and that it will also help to reduce the number of people being discharged into care, instead of going home.”

More than 11,000 people in Lincolnshire are living with dementia and research by the Alzheimer’s Society shows that they spend longer in hospital than patients with other conditions.