Whitaker Firth Solicitors

Whitaker Firth Solicitors offer legal services tailored to the needs of our individual clients. Our aim is to provide a high quality legal service at a reasonable cost. For over 100 years Whitaker Firth has been established in Bradford, and some of the most highly regarded solicitors in the city have been associated with this firm. We are proud to carry on the tradition of providing legal expertise with care and concern for our clients. Our legal services are now also available in Guiseley.

Updated:
17 December 2014
Location:
Yorkshire and Humber
Sectors:
Other
Local Alliances:
Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Action Alliance, Bradford District Dementia Action Alliance, Leeds 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?

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists a number of outcomes that we 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?

Whitaker Firth is committed to providing legal services in Bradford and Guiseley in a way that is accessible, approachable and sensitive to the needs of people with dementia and their carers. We aim to create an environment where people with dementia and their carers can feel comfortable and confident that the problems they face are understood and they will be encouraged and supported to make their own choices and decisions. To date we have prepared signage for the office doors to assist independent movement. We have recruited a new solicitor to our Private Client Department who is a trained Dementia Champion and our staff are undergoing the Dementia Friends training. We are arranging to install outside lighting at our Guiseley office to improve visibility

The firm is also committed to promoting the Dementia Action Alliance nationally. We are liaising with Solicitors for the Elderly to encourage members to become involved. We will aim to try and involve as many law firms as possible both locally and nationally to promote and provide dementia friendly legal services. Our Dementia Champion has been to provide training to a local law firm and is happy to do the dame for others.

The firm would like to work with other local organisations supporting the Dementia Action Alliance to encourage Bradford and Guiseley to become dementia friendly communities. Work commitments have made it difficult to fulfil this wish but we are hoping that the New Year will present further opportunities of this firm to be more involved with the local initiatives.

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

Communications

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

Many legal issues are complex and can be difficult to explain in a way that is easily understood, but also provides all the information needed for clients to make fully informed decisions. Often more than one meeting is needed to undertake the work required and people with dementia may find it difficult to retain the information from one meeting to the next

Some documents must be produced in a format laid down by law (for example Lasting Powers of Attorney) that cannot be made more dementia friendly

Resources.

As a small business we do not have funds to undertake major or extensive alterations to our premises to fulfil our ambitions on a short time scale. Finding time to ensure all members of staff are fully trained and that the training is updated and developments maintained may be a challenge

Ethnic Diversity

Bradford in particular has multiple ethnic groups, each with their own cultural differences, religious beliefs and languages. It will be a challenge to try and make our business dementia friendly to such a diverse population.

Member website

www.whitakerfirth

2. Actions

  • Staff Training

    Members of staff will be assisted to undertake the SCIE Open Dementia Programme with regular training sessions to cover all modules.

    Status:
    Planning
  • Review of Leaflets and Literature

    Standard letters to be reviewed. A set of dementia friendly letters may need to be prepared

    Literature to include a photograph of the staff that will be involved with the client

    Information leaflets to be reviewed to ensure they are easily read and understood

    Status:
    Planning
  • Adaptations to the Office Environment

    Signage to be installed throughout the office to assist in navigation around the office, especially in public areas

    Toilet seats to be replaced with coloured seats

    The exterior of the building to be explored with a view to making it easier for clients to alert staff that assistance may be required to gain access

    Status:
    Initial Scoping
  • Education and Publicity

    The firm will actively participate in assisting the Alzheimer’s Society to increase public awareness and understanding of dementia

    Members of staff will promote the availability of legal services available to assist people to lead an independent and self-determining life following a diagnosis of dementia. Contact to be made with local hospitals, GP surgeries and other organisations to ensure awareness of legal services that are available. Such information to be made available without cost or obligation.

    The firm will actively encourage other firms and in particular members of Solicitors for the Elderly, to make their businesses dementia friendly.

    Status:
    Planning