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Stratford-on-Avon District Council

Stratford-on-Avon District Council is one of the largest Districts in England with over 250 towns and villages spread over 977 square kilometres. With a population of around 120,000, it is a very rural District where agriculture and tourism are important to the local economy. The District has an ageing population, higher than the national average and rural isolation is an issue for many residents. There are 1,839 residents diagnosed with dementia (around 1.5% of the population). This figure is due to rise. The Council delivers a range of services:- • Collection of local taxes and support to low income and vulnerable residents • Leisure • Planning and Building Control • Environmental Health • Housing Advice and Homelessness • Parking • Refuse Collection and Grounds Maintenance • Elections • Business and Tourism • Customer Access (includes IT, Customer Services) • In-house support (Finance, Legal and Human Resources)

29 March 2017
West Midlands
Local Authorities
Local Alliances:
Coventry and Warwickshire 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?

The Council’s community leadership role is articulated in its Corporate Strategy.   It recognises the need to support an ageing population which is significantly higher than the national average ensuring its services support their needs. Furthermore, it commits to: 

  • supporting vulnerable people especially those becoming homeless, those adjusting to benefit changes and those needing supported accommodation;
  • identify opportunities to improve access to local services, especially for those in remote communities;
  • speak up for residents locally and nationally so that communities are in a better position to help themselves.

The Council will play a part in helping to ensure that people living with dementia, their carers, family and friends, feel supported, welcomed and encouraged about accessing their local community and its services by:

  • Improving information and support for people living with dementia and their carers in the Stratford District, including the range of benefits they are entitled to;
  • Signposting a range of services available to help support people living with dementia with aspects of their daily life, enabling people living with dementia to access information, services and support, including the range of benefits they may be entitled to, to enable them to stay at home and in the community and enjoy the best quality of life;
  • Treating people living with dementia with dignity and respect whenever they need support from services;
  • Creating dementia friendly communities and identifying gaps in provision across the District.

In fulfilling its commitment, an evaluation in the way services are provided is required to ensure, that as far as possible, they are ‘dementia friendly.’ This includes the ability of staff to recognise that a member of the public may have dementia and also to ensure meeting/interview areas are ‘dementia friendly’ and information and signage is appropriate.

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

To develop a coordinated approach in raising awareness of dementia. This will require a partnership approach involving a range of organisations. 

To identify resources within existing budgets to enable recommendations from the Dementia Task and Finish Group to be implemented.

To secure corporate commitment to implement a training programme at a time when the organisation is facing significant change.

To ensure the Task and Finish Group maintain a focused approach which will enable the intended outcomes to be delivered.

To create a dementia forum, which will be held on a regular basis and invite one member from all appropriate organisations which may be used for sign posting. 

2. Actions

  • Positive internal practice

    To include: -

    Review of staff policies and procedures to help support staff and members who are caring for a person living with dementia. Look at arrangements for supporting a staff member who develops dementia while in employment. Review progress by OSC on a 6 monthly programme. Ensure all our contractors have demonstrated they are ‘dementia friendly’.

    Being implemented

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    Guidance note for managers proudced by HR which signposts to relevant sections of existing policies which are relevant to caring responsiiblities or diagnosis.

    Update provided to Overview & Scrutiny Committee in March 2016.

    Agreed internally to focus on contractors most likely to come into contact with peopel living with dementia - leisure service, traffic enforcement & refuse.

    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Presentation made to Overview & Scutiny Committee as part of the process to review the action plan (2/3/16)

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    As a first step to ensuring contractors have demonstrated they are 'dementia friendly', SDC will invite the contractor who delivers services in the leisure centres to attend dementia awareness sessions. 

    Discussions have  begun with personnel around reviewing policies and procedures with regard to an individual developing dementia or caring for someone with dementia.

  • Training and awareness

    Training and awareness is crucial to the success of Stratford–on-Avon District Council becoming ‘dementia friendly’ and the aim is to develop a programme which will include all Councillors and officers. The Council is mindful of Warwickshire County Council's pledge to create 10,000 dementia friends. By undertaking a programme of training and awareness raising the Council aims to help them meet this target.

    To supplement internal resources, the Council will have the opportunity to ‘tap into’ the training provided by Warwickshire County Council.

    In addition the Council seeks to : -

    Roll out dementia friends initiative for all staff.

    Identify and train a minimum of 2 x Dementia Champions in each Section.

    Secure a lead person within each Service.

    Implement induction training for new Councillors - to include minimum of one hour on dementia awareness.

    Being implemented

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    Nine dementia awareness sessions delivered in total so far.  66 members of staff attended.  All customers service staff attended.  Details on how to become a Dementia Friend shared through staff email and through the Council's Dementia Awareness Newsletter.

    There are at least 2 Dementia Friends within each of the 6 service areas.  2 members of staff, including 1 Head of Service completed the Mobile Virtual Dementia Tour delivered by Training2Care.  1 Dementia Friend Champion trained.

    Two Dementia Friends sessions arranged specifically for members (9 Councillors attended).  A Dementia Friends session was arranged for Stratford Town Council (7 Councillors attended).

    2016 - Third Quarter Update

    Since the last update there has been 1 dementia friends session for elected members (25/4).  A session was also delivered to Stratford Town Council (12/4). 

    During DAW a dementia newsletter was circulated to staff with details of the dementia friends initiative and how to become a dementia friend.

    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Since the last update there have been several awareness sessions delivered - 1 x friends session for staff, 1 x friends session for elected Members, 1 x 3 hour awarness session for staff.

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Four dementia awareness sessions taken place (2 x 3 hour sessions / 2 x 1 hour sessions).  Further training being arranged with Warwickshire County Council.

    For the duration of dementia awareness week, there was a display in reception at SDC offices with information on local services including the South Warwickshire Dementia Navigator, Books on Prescription, dementia cafes and other local services for those living with dementia and their families.

    Staff member from Enterprise, Housing & Revenues section attended Dementia Champions training in Coventry on 7th September.

    Portfolio Holder for Member Development & Training approached with information and options for delivering dementia awareness training to members.  Dementa Friends session for SDC Members booked for November 23rd 2015.

  • Promoting and developing learning

    To include: -

    Dementia related updates on the intranet and via Weekly E-mail Bulletin.Reading lists provided and links to ‘Books on Prescription’;Standing agenda item on agenda for Health and Wellbeing Group;Positively promoting volunteer opportunities in dementia related services;Working in collaboration with other businesses in the town for cross learning;Utilising expertise from various sources already available in the Stratford-on-Avon District;

    Promoting awareness with all ward members and town/parish Councils across the District.  

    Being implemented

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    Various dementia related notices made via the weekly staff bulletin.  The Council's Dementia Awareness Netwletter was circulated during dementia awareness week 2016 and Word Alzheimers' month Sept 16 and contained information on Books on Prescription.

    SDC has met with STratforward to discuss training for the Business Improvement District team including Town Hosts and other ways the BID could support a dementia friendly community. 

    A dementia friends session for BID members was arranged as well as a session for staff at Stratford Picture House.

    SDC is taking the learning & experience from the Shipston dementia friendly community to support Southam and Wellesbourne - two towns showing desire to become dementia friendly communities.

    Following Warwick District Council's lead, SDC also now include a Dementia Friend's session as part of the disability training which all taxi drivers must pass on to obtain their license.

    2016 - Third Quarter Update

    SDC have created a Dementia Newsletter, the first edition was circulated to all staff and Councillors during dementia awareness week.  The newsletter included an update on progress against the action plan, information on the dementia friends initiative, what the symptoms of dementia are and what to do if you have concerns about your memory or some one close to you.

    SDC have set up the Dementia Voices group which brings a representative from all the dementia cafes across the district together. Some cafes are well established and have been running successfully for some time.  Others are new and benefit from the experience of the others.  The aim is that the group will share info and ideas and can act as a lobbying voice for people living with dementia and their carers.  The group will meet approximately every 3-4 months.

    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    1 x dementia friends session delivered to local businesses (15/3/16)

    SDC representation on the Dementia Friendly Shipston Community Steering Group.  The Shipston Group is particuarly active and their knowledge & experience is useful for SDC to pass onto other communties who wish to establish themselves as dementia friendly.

    Promotion via the Parish & Partners enewsletter of the work the Dementia Friendly Shipston Communtiy group have achieved. 

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Several of SDCs weekly emails to staff have included information on dementia friends and dementia awareness generally.  These emails have encouraged staff to become a dementia friend.

    The Chief Executives email updates have also included information on dementia friends & the Dementia Words Matter campaign.

    All managers have received via email the Dementia Words Matter guidance and asked to discuss this within their teams.

    An SDC representative is part of the Dementia Friendly Shipston Steering Group.  This group meets to promote dementia awareness in Shipston and aims to make the town more dementia friendly.

  • Environment

    To include: -

    Ensuring that the Council’s public spaces are suitable for people with dementia and respond to those living with dementia and their carers accordingly; To seek guidance from professional organisations, including the Alzheimer’s Society.

    Being implemented

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    The recommendations made by the Alzheimer's Society back in June have now all been implemented.  These included stickers on the sliding glass doors to reduce reflection, improved signage, enhanced lighting, painting of the railing leading up the ramp in a brighter colour, and a coloured toilet seat in the disabled toilet. 

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Operations Manager for Alzheimer's Society (Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry & Warwickshire) visited the SDC office in June to review the reception area & make recommendations relating to improvements which could be made to make the reception more dementia friendly.   The suggestions have been passed on to the Premises & Safety Manager with a view to being actioned before the end of 2015.  Quotes for the work have been received.

  • Signage, information, customer service

    To promote the services currently offered by the District Council e.g. the availability of assistive technology, the availability of disabled facilities grants and equipment available to those living with dementia to protect them from rural crime.To ensure that signage is dementia friendly, e.g.

    Clear, mounted low enough, to have words and picture, to contrast with background, to include arrow/ pointing finger to show direction.

    To re-configure and de-clutter the Public Information board. To use the ‘forget me not’ sign on posters relating to dementia support. To consider a ‘quick read’ column on documents issued to the general public. To evaluate the website to ensure information can be easily accessed and introduce elements like to quick read text and/or a contact number. Create Dementia Friendly Forum and invite a member from all associated organisations to come, discuss problems, highlight any successes so that they can learn from their peers and improve their services.

    Being implemented

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    The Independent Living Officer and Rural Crime Coordinators continue to support people living with dementia and their carers.  A rural crime coordinator attended the Dementia Cafes Networking Forum to explain the Herbert Protocol and to talk about products they are able to loan out to families, such a Memo Minders, to help people with dementia and their families to reduce crime and maintain safety.

    The Dementia Cafes Networking Forum continues to meet approx. quarterly for cafe reps to talk about issues that are affecting their cafe, share successes and learn from each other. 

    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Signage in the reception area of Elizabeth house has been improved in accordance with the reccomendations made by the Alheimer's Society (as mentioned in Evnironment action update)

    Dementia Cafe Networking Forum established to bring all the dementia cafes in Stratford District together to discuss challenges and successes and investigate opportunities for joint working, applying for funding, quality standards etc.

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    The Independent Living Office who leads on assistive technologies has attended five of the six Senior Citizens Action Network groups, as well as other appropriate events (Shipston Over 75 event) to promote the equipment that can support older people to live independently for longer.

    The Community Safety Partnership has secured funding to support people living with dementia to be safe in their own home through using assistive technologies.  The Rural Crime Coordinators have been working with Senior Citizens Action Network groups as well as dementia specific groups to promote this.