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Gentoo Healthwise Project

Published:
Tuesday 2 February 2016
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Mrs X was first referred to me by our Gas Control Team following an annual service visit.   The engineer advised that Mrs X was burning paper on her gas fire.  The dementia training helped me to recognise the signs of dementia and deal with Mrs X’s behaviour following that initial visit.  I referred the customer to Healthwise, which triggered a referral to our Wellbeing Service.  The Wellbeing Team has been making regular visits to support Mrs X and has been liaising with social services, her GP and family. Since then Gentoo has arranged to replace the gas fire with an electric fire to prevent a crisis and has referred Mrs X to our befriending service.” (Neighbourhood Manager Gentoo Group)

Gentoo, a large housing and support provider in Sunderland, has developed a case management system for people living with dementia.  Called Healthwise, the computer-based information system allows frontline staff to input details of relevant call-outs and interactions with residents. The system enables Gentoo to flag up problems using an early warning system and refer people to other agencies at an early stage.

Gentoo has a Wellbeing Team, which deals with Healthwise referrals. The members of the Wellbeing Team have received training in dementia care and have been trained to complete basic cognition tests.

Through Healthwise, Gentoo aims to increase dementia diagnosis rates, raise awareness of dementia and support people with memory problems to remain in their own home for longer.

Gentoo estimates that around 750 customers currently live with dementia and predicts that this number will increase to more than 1,000 in 15 years.  Through the use of Healthwise Gentoo is taking a proactive approach to identify and provide support to people with cognitive impairment.

Gentoo has eight Healthwise software licences, which it will share with other housing providers as part of the evaluation of the software and the Healthwise approach.  The National Housing Federation is supporting Gentoo and other housing associations to roll out use of the software as an integrated approach to early intervention in dementia care in other areas of the North East.