The local NHS and voluntary sector are working together to improve the support available for local people with dementia in black minority ethnic (BME) communities.
NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is funding a new project that aims to improve and increase dementia diagnosis in BME groups in Bury.
The Asian Development Association of Bury (ADAB), an established local organisation, will be working with GPs, BME communities, and other local organisations in the area in order to improve the uptake of dementia services, whilst strengthening partnership working between GPs and the voluntary sector for the benefit of local patients.
Low levels of awareness about dementia within BME communities help to explain why BME people are currently under-represented in dementia services. ADAB will be raising awareness of the condition and will be looking to identify people who may have dementia symptoms, or people who are concerned about their memory, to encourage them to see their GP sooner than later.
Jeffery Schryer, local GP and Bury CCG clinical lead for dementia, said: “Generally, dementia patients in BME communities, particularly those from South Asian backgrounds, are less likely to recognise or manage dementia symptoms appropriately until at a critical stage. This is due to lower levels of awareness and understanding about dementia and the existence of stigma. By working more closely with local BME communities it is hoped we will identify relevant issues and concerns for these groups of patients, and possible solutions, ultimately supporting them to lead full and active lives.”
Safina Rashid, project lead at ADAB, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to work together with primary care and our partners in the voluntary sector to improve care for people with dementia in BME communities. By working together, we believe our project will benefit GPs, patients and carers, by providing earlier diagnosis, easier referral to community organisations providing advice, information and care closer to home and targeting resources where they are needed most."
ADAB will be working with other community organisations, such as the Jinnah Centre, Making Space, Carer’s Centre, Bury Asian Women’s Centre, Project 29, Alzheimer’s Society and others who can provide further support for patients and carers who look after someone diagnosed with dementia.
If you have dementia, or you are caring for someone with dementia and you would like more details of the support available locally, please contact your GP practice in the first instance. Or visit: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/dementia-guide/Pages/about-dementia.aspx
Date: 12 May 2014
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