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Healthwatch Kirklees

Healthwatch Kirklees are your local, independent watchdog for health and social care. That means that we listen to you when you tell us about your experience of services like your GP, local hospital, day care centre, residential care home, etc… and we make a case for improving the services you use. We are interested to hear good and bad feedback, and encourage anyone to get in touch to share their views. We are also able to give information and advice about accessing health and social care services and making complaints through our information and signposting service – so if you have had a bad experience and aren’t sure where to go to complain, or are struggling to get the service you need, please get in touch on the details below.

6 September 2016
Yorkshire and Humber
Care, Health, Voluntary Sector
Local Alliances:
Kirklees 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?

It is our role to ensure that the views of people with dementia and their families are represented to the providers and commissioners of the services they use.

This means that any person in Kirklees can approach us to talk about a good or bad experience that they have had whilst using health and social care services. We will take that view point and share that with the provider of the service, sharing good practice widely and encouraging other providers to do the same, and challenging poor quality in services.             

For people with dementia and their loved ones, these experiences may have happened whilst they were being discharged from hospital, living a care facility, or using home help services. We are keen to find out more about what the key issues are in Kirklees so we can encourage providers to substantially change their services, making them better for people with dementia.

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

The key problems for the organisation with achieving our outcomes are:

Not being able to gather enough feedback from patients, residents, service users and carersProviders and commissioners not fully listening to us when we express concerns about services

Although we actively encourage people to contact us about their experiences, sometimes people are hesitant to come forward and share their difficulties. This could be because they are worried it will impact the quality of care for themselves or the person they care for, or they are nervous about losing services. We need to assure people that they can share information in confidence, and that their comments will be anonymised before being passed to providers.

Commissioners and providers have many competing priorities, and patient views are just one of those. We have to work hard to ensure that the views of the people using services are of paramount importance to those services.


2. Actions

  • Improve our understanding of Dementia

    Ensure that all staff undertake the Dementia Friends training to enhance their understanding of the perspective of people with dementia and their carers.

  • Ensure we consider whether the needs of people with dementia are being met by care homes when we conduct Enter and View visits

    Part of the our role as the consumer champion of health and social care services is to Enter and View care facilities – these could be residential care homes, hospital wards, GP practices. Where relevant (particularly in residential facilities) we will consider how well we perceive those facilities are meeting the needs of people with dementia.

  • Give people with dementia and their carers the ability to share their views on the services they use

    Work keenly with carers groups and service users to establish the key problems that people with dementia are facing whilst using services and present those views to the providers and commissioners of services.