Dementia Friendly Communities Ltd

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Dementia Friendly Communities Ltd's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Dementia Friendly Communities Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.connectingcommunities.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
52 | H4ALL
»Taking a partnership approach to
tackle the social issues that can
have huge impacts on health and
wellbeing through a programme of
social prescribing.
Each neighbourhood health hub is
developing a set of priorities based on
the mental, physical and social needs
of that particular area. These priorities
are coupled with the third sector
offer: a strong focus on preventing ill
health, reducing GP appointments and
hospital admissions and supporting
people to gain control of their own
health and wellbeing.
Each neighbourhood will have a
multi-agency team made up of GPs,
nurses, mental health practitioners,
social workers, pharmacists and the
third sector. We are working, through
grant funding, to structure voluntary
sector services around the hubs and
are using our collective intelligence
about our communities to influence
priorities in terms of health spending.
Most importantly we are working
with the multiple small groups and
organisations that represent the
most disengaged and disadvantaged
people, ensuring earlier intervention
for these residents through more
appropriateservices.
Hillingdon CCG, Hillingdon
Confederation of GPs and the London
Borough of Hillingdon are 100 per
cent supportive of the increased
role of the third sector in meeting
population health and care needs. In
fact, they see the sector as a critical
new element to achieving the requisite
changes in local provision. We have
grown considerably over the past
four years as we have been able to
demonstrate both the impact of our
approaches on the health of the
population and the associated cost
savings this generates.
Finally, we are working hard to
engage with NHS England and Greater
London structures to advocate for
this approach more broadly. We see
small pockets of good practice in some
elements of social prescribing, but we
have yet to identify anyone anywhere
in the country that is providing the
whole package we offer.
Our services
offer a credible
alternative to
clinical referral
for GPs and
other clinicians
Giving opinions on
Hillingdon’s health
services at a public event
Group art therapy, one of
hundreds of services on offer
53DEMENTIA FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES LTD |
HEALTH & SOCIALWORK
Founder Ann Pascoe and her
husband Andrew
“Art ‘n Blether” was initially developed
to support unidentified carers, but has
subsequently benefited many others
in our rural villages
Change often begins with one passionate person. When a
counsellor told Ann Pascoe, who had no support for her
husband diagnosed with vascular dementia some 12 years
previously, that she had two options – either to leave him or to learn
to live with it – she said: “No, there’s a third option: I’m going to
change this.” Now the founder of Dementia Friendly Communities,
Ann tells
The Parliamentary Review
how she turned her remote rural
area from one that harboured a fear of the disease to one that has
become a beacon of excellence for others to follow.
I had the lived experience of dementia but found that no one would listen to a “little
old lady living in a tiny rural village in the middle of nowhere”, so first I became a
Churchill Fellow and travelled to India to learn about community support for dementia.
I then went back to university and, armed with a master’s in dementia, became
a carer activist, speaking at every opportunity both nationally and internationally.
Eventually, people started listening.
The Scottish government published their first dementia strategy in 2010, much
the same time I heard about the concept of dementia-friendly communities. I
immediately realised that this was the vehicle I could use to change things: if those
at the top understood what was needed, I would push from the bottom with the
hope that in time they would meet in the middle.
Essential to our success at Dementia Friendly Communities was establishing
credibility on an organisational and a personal level: a quality that can be both hard
to develop and difficult to sustain. In our experience we have found that grassroots’
FACTS ABOUT
DEMENTIA FRIENDLY
COMMUNITIES LTD
»Founder: Ann Pascoe
»Founded in 2012; received
charity status in 2017
»Located in Helmsdale &
Golspie, Scottish Highlands
»Services: Support for older
people, including those
affected by dementia, in rural
areas
»No. of employees: 15
Dementia Friendly
Communities Ltd
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
54 | DEMENTIA FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES LTD
community initiatives can have
particular difficulty in being seen as
credible by professional groups. Once
credibility is established, however,
initiatives can draw support to set up
and sustain their activities as well as
to attract key partners in order to help
them to achieve their goals.
Circle of support
Due to our work, I saw the way my
community thought about dementia
shift, resulting in transformational
change in remote rural areas. This was
done through developing a circle of
support for everyone irrespective of
health needs, after understanding that
“dementia only” is often too small a
parameter for rural villages.
We understood that socially inclusive
work, free of dementia labels, which
relies on the compassionate support
of the whole community for all older
members of the community, is a far
better option.
Fortunately, NHS Highland embraced
this vision and in partnership with
Dementia Friendly Communities is
focused on changing the dementia
focus across the Highlands.
This collaboration has resulted in the
joint development of a framework of
eight guiding principles reflecting rural
aspirations, which are the basis for a
series of how-to toolkits to support
new initiatives to develop their own
“circles of support”.
Circles of support are fundamentally
focused on putting the individual at the
heart of local services, with a supporting
infrastructure that allows people to
maintain a high quality of life in their
own villages for as long aspossible.
The outer circle that keeps all of this
together comprises statutory services
that people access when required
while remaining sure in the knowledge
that community support is the
backbone that will keep people in their
own homes for as long as they want.
Challenges
At Dementia Friendly Communities,
we first had to embrace the
geographical challenges that face
us. These range from isolation
and loneliness, to the profound
inequalities in access to services
throughout the Highlands, to the
limited transportation for getting
Left: “Dinner to your
Door” delivers over 120
nutritious meals every
week to village folk
Right: Large interactive
screen programme
introduced in rural areas
across the Highlands
to facilitate community
connections
We understood
that socially
inclusive work,
free of
dementia
labels, which
relies on the
compassionate
support of the
whole
community, is a
far better
option
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
54 | DEMENTIA FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES LTD
community initiatives can have
particular difficulty in being seen as
credible by professional groups. Once
credibility is established, however,
initiatives can draw support to set up
and sustain their activities as well as
to attract key partners in order to help
them to achieve their goals.
Circle of support
Due to our work, I saw the way my
community thought about dementia
shift, resulting in transformational
change in remote rural areas. This was
done through developing a circle of
support for everyone irrespective of
health needs, after understanding that
“dementia only” is often too small a
parameter for rural villages.
We understood that socially inclusive
work, free of dementia labels, which
relies on the compassionate support
of the whole community for all older
members of the community, is a far
better option.
Fortunately, NHS Highland embraced
this vision and in partnership with
Dementia Friendly Communities is
focused on changing the dementia
focus across the Highlands.
This collaboration has resulted in the
joint development of a framework of
eight guiding principles reflecting rural
aspirations, which are the basis for a
series of how-to toolkits to support
new initiatives to develop their own
“circles of support”.
Circles of support are fundamentally
focused on putting the individual at the
heart of local services, with a supporting
infrastructure that allows people to
maintain a high quality of life in their
own villages for as long aspossible.
The outer circle that keeps all of this
together comprises statutory services
that people access when required
while remaining sure in the knowledge
that community support is the
backbone that will keep people in their
own homes for as long as they want.
Challenges
At Dementia Friendly Communities,
we first had to embrace the
geographical challenges that face
us. These range from isolation
and loneliness, to the profound
inequalities in access to services
throughout the Highlands, to the
limited transportation for getting
Left: “Dinner to your
Door” delivers over 120
nutritious meals every
week to village folk
Right: Large interactive
screen programme
introduced in rural areas
across the Highlands
to facilitate community
connections
We understood
that socially
inclusive work,
free of
dementia
labels, which
relies on the
compassionate
support of the
whole
community, is a
far better
option
55DEMENTIA FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES LTD |
HEALTH & SOCIAL WORK
to bigger cities and the longer
distances to travel. Old houses provide
challenges for those with mobility
concerns; likewise, slow or unreliable
broadband and harsh weather
conditions in winter months can also
causeproblems.
In addition to these factors, our
demographic profiles impede the
delivery of normal services and
support. With one in three over the
age of 65 living in the countryside,
rural demographics usually equate to
an upside-down triangle of support –
fewer working people at the bottom
supporting an unprecedented volume
of older people at the top. This results
in too many people trying to access
limited services and support. This is
coupled with the fact that one in 12
people in the Highlands are living with
a diagnosis of dementia, but more
significantly there are a much higher
number who are undiagnosed.
Future direction
Our ultimate aim is to make all
community-led activities and services
sustainable, which is not as easy
as one might think. While Scottish
government continues to legislate
with the Community Empowerment
Act, the Carers Act and the more
recent Frank’s Law which offers
free personal care, there is rarely
adequate funding, particularly at
community level, to support this.
This means individuals have rights,
but organisations do not have
access to funding to follow through.
Finding money to sustain staff
and core overheads is our single
greatest challenge and most time-
consumingtask.
Moreover, as existing national
service providers succumb to
budgetary constraints, we see the
damaging impact on our smaller rural
communities. For this reason, we
are working closely with statutory
services to transform our community
further by developing a sustainable
care-at-home model within the circle
of support using our local bank of
support workers to care for our own.
We believe that by underpinning
a community-run care-at-home
provision in this way, we will build
on existing community assets and
capacity to support ourselves to finally
become self-managing andresilient.
Thirty-seven dogs
competed for “Best
Pooch” in our annual
fundraising event
We are working
closely with
statutory
services to
transform our
community
further by
developing a
sustainable care-
at-home model
within the circle
of support using
our local bank
of support
workers to care
for ourown

www.connectingcommunities.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Dementia Friendly Communities Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development