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Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council is a local authority in the Black Country, made up of the six towns of Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury and West Bromwich.

19 September 2014
West Midlands
Local Authorities
Local Alliances:
Sandwell Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Sandwell believes that people with dementia and their carers should be supported to live as independently as possible and maintain a fulfilling life within their community. The publication of the National Dementia Strategy “Living Well with Dementia” on 3 February 2009 identifies that positive input from health, social care, the third sector and carers of people with dementia can make all the difference between living well with dementia and having a poor quality of life.

To achieve this we are working with partners to ensure that:

  • There is better awareness of dementia 
  • People with dementia are met with understanding and given support where necessary
  • People are diagnosed earlier
  • There is a consistently high quality of care across all sectors

We have established a multi agency Strategy Group to oversee this work and to monitor progress. We work with key partners to provide a seamless service for people with Dementia and their carers, Sandwell will deliver high quality services commissioned based on evidence of need and of what works best for those living with dementia and their family carers.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

The main challenge is in removing the perceived stigma attached to a dementia diagnosis and encouraging those with signs of cognitive impairment to seek help.

This requires confidence in services being available to meet the needs of people with dementia both in terms of range and quality of provision
The need to maintain and develop joint working arrangements across Sandwell for commissioning and delivery, at a time when our partners and ourselves are undergoing significant structural and economic changes.

Success will mean that stigma attached to Dementia is decreased, people feel empowered to seek early help, will have access to high quality care and support and will know where they can go for support and what services they can expect.

Member contacts


2. Actions

  • Refresh dementia strategy

    Sandwell is in the process of refreshing its dementia strategy, and has identified 5 work streams to improve dementia care in the area. These are:

    1. Prevention and Raising Awareness
    2. Clinical Pathway – from diagnosis to end of life
    3. Compassionate Care
    4. Social Care
    5. Quality of Care

    The aim of all work streams is to ensure that services are available to respond to the needs of those with dementia and their carers from diagnosis to end of life.

  • Spearhead dementia friendly community work

    In addition to this SMBC will work with the 5 Borough organisations nominated to spearhead the dementia friendly community work. The organisations are:

    • BUDS (Better Understanding of Dementia Sandwell)
    • Agewell
    • Soho and Victoria Friends and Neighbours
    • Sandwell Libraries
    • Rowley Regis Rotary
  • Improving quality of services

    A particular focus of the council’s work relates to improving the quality of services. The provision of high quality care, wherever it is provided, is key to maintaining individuals in their current setting and preventing deterioration. As part of this work SMBC are also looking to link closely with Museum and Lifestyle Services to encourage meaningful activity work looking at creating connections and relationships for people with dementia and their carers.

    SMBC has established a quality team who are working with all care sectors from domiciliary providers, care homes and extra care schemes to promote meaningful activities and have created a free resource library, including a comprehensive activity folder with suggestions about activities to facilitate this. The team has just launched a Quality Compliance Assessment Tool with the West Midlands Care Home Association (WMCHA) allowing assessment of 21 outcome domains including the 16 CQC outcomes. WMCHA will also be running a training programme for managers to support implementation.

  • Creation of Portway Lifestyle Service

    The creation of Portway Lifestyle Service - an exciting new leisure facility for Sandwell, which is a vibrant and unique sports, health and wellbeing centre for the whole community and centre of excellence for people with disabilities will also encourage people with dementia to remain fit and active.