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Borough of Poole

We are a Unitary Council serving 148,000 people living in Poole on the Dorset coast. We are a top tier authority and provide the full range of public services including adult social care, childrens services, bin emptying, libraries, and housing etc. We have a large, and growing, number of older people in the Borough that is higher than the national average. The fastest growing part of our population is the “oldest old” aged 80 and over. We think of the Council as the glue that helps to hold our community together and our elected Councillors have a key leadership role in the town.

13 October 2016
South West
Local Authorities
Local Alliances:
Poole Dementia Action Group

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?

Currently approximately 1600 people have a diagnosis of dementia in Poole but we are aware that this probably represents only about half the number of people with dementia.

Helping those with dementia and their carers is a key priority for our adult social services.  We assist people directly through assessing their needs and either providing or commissioning services such as domiciliary care, day care and residential/nursing home provision.  We work closely with our neighbouring authorities (Bournemouth BC and Dorset CC) and Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group to provide memory advice and support services and a joint information service.  We also work closely with the independent and voluntary sector to encourage the development of universal and preventative services for those people who do not qualify for council funding support.

Other council services are also central to improving the quality of life of our older citizens, helping to keep people active and connected within their community.  Leisure services, for example, offer free swimming sessions for older people.  People aged 60 and over represent a third of all our council house tenants.

We recognise, therefore, that an understanding of the needs of people with dementia and their carers is an important part for all our services and not just adult social care. 

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

A key challenge is posed by the large number of staff employed by the Council, the great variety of their roles and the breadth and complexity of the services we provide.  The level of awareness and understanding needed varies across the different job roles and services.

In a time of financial austerity, we are faced with a number of competing (and changing) priorities.  In this context, maintaining a focus on dementia and embedding an understanding across the whole workforce is a challenge.

2. Actions

  • Improve the understanding and skills of council staff in customer facing roles

    We will develop and deliver short, focused, high quality training about dementia to customer facing staff such as receptionists, library and leisure centre staff.  This will be mainly through e-learning and bite size modules, utilising a training DVD created by our local psychiatric services. Dementia awareness will be mentioned in corporate induction arrangements.

    Initial Scoping
  • Encourage, and train, core staff to become dementia friends

    We will encourage staff across the council to become dementia friends within their teams and help their colleagues to “think dementia” in their work practices. 

    Being implemented
  • Ensure that council policies are dementia friendly

    Dementia friends will seek to influence new policies, or policy reviews, within their services so that consideration is given to the impact on people with dementia and their carers so that their qualify of life can be enhanced.

    Initial Scoping
  • Ensure that council Human Relations policies and practice support staff who develop dementia themselves or are carers

    HR has devised a internal webpage for staff on dementia. This will be regularly reviewed and publicised.

    Being implemented
  • Support Council’s Dementia Champion and other councillors

    Adult social care commissioning managers and operational managers will meet the Councillor who has taken on the role of dementia champion regularly and offer her information, support and advice so that she can promote dementia awareness with fellow councillors and external bodies. The Dementia Champion will chair the Poole Dementia Action group

    Being implemented

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Update of previous entry

  • Improve the skills of staff working with people with dementia in care homes and domiciliary care agencies

    We offer training support to social care providers so that their staff are well trained in the care of people with dementia.  This has included running action learning sets for seniors and managers of provider homes and agencies so that they can promote skills and cascade training to their staff.  Borough contracts include a specific requirement for providers to have appropriately trained staff.

  • Audit of physical environment of Council buildings open to the public

    All council buildings are currently checked to ensure compliance with disability legislation.  We will check public areas of our buildings to see where layout and signage could be improved to assist people with dementia

    Initial Scoping
  • Communication and promotion of dementia friendly council and dementia friendly communities

    We will create Dementia information pack for Elected Members. Also Dementia Friends training will be regularly offered to staff and elected members.