Dementia Carers Count

The Royal Surgical Aid Society was established over 150 years ago as a medical charity whose purpose was to improve the quality of life of the population through the provision of surgical aids which enabled people to remain active. Once the NHS took over this function in 1948 the Society then established and specialised in the provision of care homes for older people including those living with dementia and it continues to innovate and develop services which address pressing social needs. The charity has conducted a programme of research into the needs of family carers of people with dementia. It is now committed to addressing these needs through a strategic partnership and investment programme for carers and dementia support in targeted local areas.

7 August 2018

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?

The Society is a strategic investment partner with the third sector and not for profit organisations to achieve integrated support for family carers. 

Our strategy for achieving better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers is

  • To understand what family carers of people with dementia are asking for now and in the future (through a range of research including the National Dementia Declaration Call to Action and through local dialogue)
  • To work in partnership wth local third and not for profit sector partners and commissioners to develop services to meet these needs; based on a realistic financing model – the financing of the pilot service will either be through direct funding and delivery by the Society, or commissioning local partners against a local specification based on the above. We are initially targeting three areas in the SE of England.
  • To enable organic development to ensure it is bedded into the mix of services in the community.
  • To evaluate the pilot to be sure that we are making a difference – learning from it and adapting it so it can be replicated elsewhere.
  • To work collaboratively and not competitively – as we are a new player in the market place.


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

The perception and experiences of family carers is that services are not joined up, are fragmented and have no consistent access points.

 The Society is currently a small provider of residential care and this new strategy represents a new direction. It takes the Society into crowded market of providers and requires time for the Society to identify gaps and to establish itself as a strategic partner to address them at local level. One challenge is to create networks to ensure we are complementing not competing with existing provision.

 As our resources are not unlimited we are working with targeted areas initially in South East England and aim to learn from our involvement there, before rolling out our program more widely.

2. Actions

  • Joining up fragmented services

    The Society is at present focused on carers of people living with dementia in East Kent. We are working in partnership with the voluntary and statutory sector in East Kent to fund and develop services that fill the gaps in support for carers of people with dementia, and to join up the support to improve the quality of life for them.

    Working with local Age UKs, Learning through Landscapes, and East Kent Independent Dementia Support, we are now providing:

    One to one, support from trained, staff and volunteers to make contact with carers in the memory clinics and primary care, and to link them to the statutory and voluntary services in the East Kent area in a way that joins up the services for carers and helps to achieve the outcomes that the carers want for themselvesa personal planning resource for carers in contact with these servicesdrop-in facilities for carers, based in Herne Bay and Margate, providing well-designed, dementia-friendly and relaxing environment with access to external space which has been desinged in consultation with carersThe Learning Curve training programme for carers covering all aspects of the dementia, its impact on the individual and support strategies for carersinformation and advice sessions for carers

    We are also supporting innovation.  Carers Create will provide opportunities for carers to engage in regular creative arts actitivities, in a social setting, to engender a sense of empowerment, community, holistic wellbeing and respite from their caring role. 


    2015 - First Quarter Update

    We have recruited staff, and volunteers who are now running the services, which are open to clients. The Learning Curve training programme begins on 11th April.

    There will be an operational launch on 29th April 2015.

    We are using an action research approach in 2015, and data collection to measure impact has commenced. Quarter 1 is from March-May.  An independent evaluation will be commissioned later this year, to commence in 2016.

  • Resource restrictions necessitate area by area approach

    We are now working with one targeted area, East Kent. We are using an action research, PDSA approach to adapt it as appropriate. We are using the short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale to measure impact on carers.  Data collection has commenced.

    We aim then to extend to a second target area later this year. In 2016, we will be working with a research partner to evaluate the outcomes and to evaluate the impact on the lives of carers and a further economic evaluation to assess the savings made elsewhere in the system.


    2015 - First Quarter Update

    The service is now live in East Kent. The operational launch will be on 29th April 2015. 

    Data collection has commenced, with quarter 1 being March to May 2015.

     Independent researchers will be commissioned this year for the external evalaution to begin in 2016.

  • Collaborate not compete

    We have conducted one to one networking discussions with providers, carers, organisations, carers and commissioners in the targeted area. Also sponsored a partnership event for providers, carers, commissioners, local councillors, businesses etc. The aim was to reflect on what it is like to Walk in the Shoes of Carers.

    Now that the service is live, we have established a local strategic governance group to  oversee the service development, and to take a PDSA approach, adapting the service in the light of feedback from staff and carers.


    2015 - First Quarter Update

    WE have held a partnership event last year. Now the service is up and running, the launch is to be held on 29th April. 

    A multi agency project governance group is now meeting quarterly to review the service development, using a PDSA approach.