East Herts District Council
East Herts District Council is the local authority for the East Hertfordshire non-metropolitan district of England. East Hertfordshire covers most of the eastern third of Hertfordshire, in the East of England region.
- 12 September 2019
- East of England
- Local Alliances:
- Dementia Friendly East Herts 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?
East Herts Council seeks to improve the quality of life of all its residents by delivering fair, effective and appropriate services to all. As part of this, it is committed to the goal of East Herts district becoming a dementia friendly community.
The demographic of East Hertfordshire is currently ageing and consequently the level of dementia prevalence is also on the increase, given that dementia is more common amongst (although not exclusive to) older adults.
In order to tackle the challenges associated with an ageing population, East Herts Council helped set up an ‘Ageing Well Steering Group’. This was a multi-agency action group that sought to work in collaboration to develop pro-active policies and actions that keep people ‘well’ and active into their old age.
This group has been renamed in August 2018 with a number of new stakeholders, carers and people living with dementia and new working arrangements. The group is called East Herts Dementia Friendly Action Group EHDFA.
Delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers is thus a principle aim of the East Herts Dementia Friendly Action group. As such, the Council seeks to work in partnership with other agencies across the district to enhance service provision for this segment of the population.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
The main challenges facing the Council include:
Increasing public awareness of the benefits of early diagnosis and of the sources of support and information for people who have been newly diagnosed and their carers
Reducing the stigma associated with dementia Ensuring there is an explicit care and support pathway for people with dementia and their carers (both formal and informal) across different organisations
Ensuring that as many internal staff, as well as staff members of local businesses, are appropriately trained in dementia care - with minimal disruption to front line service delivery
Making sure that all councillors are aware and supportive of the Action Plan Ensuring the ‘buy-in’ from external partners who may be facing tightened resources Sustaining momentum for the aspiration to become a dementia friendly community against a backdrop of competing priorities and time/commitment constraints
Ensuring that any services offered meet the expectations of service users and carers and deliver value for money
Working towards making East Herts Council a dementia-friendly workplace
- Offer training to all members of staff at East Herts Council, with an aim to getting at least 30% of staff trained as ‘dementia friends.’ This will ensure that staff (particularly those who deliver frontline services) are more sensitive to the needs of people with dementia and can signpost them to relevant local services as soon as possible.
- Offer training to staff which will enable them to become ‘Dementia Friends Champions’, thus enabling a more effective roll-out of the dementia friends training.
- Make sure all exits and entrances into the council are clearly labelled
- Initial Scoping, Implementation
Engaging local businesses in the drive to create a dementia-friendly community
- Work towards getting all cafes in East Herts to be ‘dementia-friendly’. Cafes can achieve this status by having a minimum of one member of staff who has undertaken the ‘dementia friends’ training, and/or by offering frequent drop-in sessions for people with dementia and their carers.
- Offer ‘dementia friends’ training to local businesses, such as taxi firms and hairdressers.
- Initial Scoping, Implementation
Raising awareness of dementia and the support available for people with dementia and their carers
- Use East Herts Councils’ communications channels to raise awareness of any events taking place (such as the Dementia Café in Ware) to support people with dementia and their carers.
- Produce a directory of all the services in East Herts that offer support or activities aimed at the ageing population and publish on the council’s website.
- Raise awareness of dementia among key partners by ensuring that it is a constant agenda item at Ageing Well Steering Group meetings and encouraging members to disseminate any information back to their organisations.
- Initial Scoping
Working collaboratively to enhance support services for people with dementia and their carers
- Work with other local organisations to provide a programme of events for people with dementia and their carers. For example – look into combining activity sessions with creative arts such as music and/or drama.
- Work with Clinical Commissioning Groups and other relevant organisations to ensure that targeted support is available for people living with dementia - both in the pre- and post-diagnosis stage.
- Offer support to voluntary sector initiatives that are working towards the same goals. In particular – ensure that any initiatives are advertised through the council’s communication channels.
- Encourage all other members of the Ageing Well Steering Group to come up with their own Action Plans and share with the group
- Explore opportunities for working in collaboration with the Alzheimers Society to set up a dementia café in Bishop’s Stortford