Sleaford Medical Group

Sleaford Medical Group is a large rural GP practice in Sleaford, Lincolnshire; with a patient register of over 18,000. 21.1% of our patient register is over 65, and so Sleaford Medical Group is meeting the challenge of an aging population head on by being the first institution in Sleaford to become registered as dementia friendly. Several staff members are registering as dementia champions, and our medical receptionists are undertaking dementia awareness training. Sleaford Medical Group will soon be offering its highly equipped conference room for use by dementia support groups. Our site fulfils all the stipulations of the Dementia Friendly Physical Environments Checklist, and we are very proud to be providing a dementia friendly environment.

28 September 2015
East Midlands
Other, Health
Local Alliances:
East Midlands Regional Board

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?

We offer healthcare to patients with suspected and diagnosed dementia. However, we go beyond what many practices do in delivering this care:

  1. We are signed up to the Dementia enhanced service whereby we offer opportunistic memory screening tests patients with suspected memory problems. The test we use is the CANTAB test, also known as the PAL memory test. Patients can be referred by a clinician, or they can ask at reception for a test. In over 98% of cases, a test is administered within 10 minutes, the result discussed with the patient and uploaded to their patient record. Based on the result of the screening test, the patient is advised whether or not a follow-up appointment is necessary.
  2.  We fulfill virtually every check box on the dementia friendly physical environments checklist already, and upon signing up to the DAA we will be quickly work towards being 100% compliant.
  3.  We are also looking into support services we can offer to dementia-patient groups. Our premises is capable of hosting these meetings and we are very keen to do so.

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

All of the goals set out by Dementia Action Alliance, and also visitors from the Alzheimer’s society seem very achievable. As a medical practice, our service is predicated on ease of use for all patients, meaning that our premises is very accessible, and the staff experienced in a range of medical conditions, not just dementia.

 The largest difficulty may be organising staff training as we employ 65 people at the practice, and so training may have to be undertaken over several days. But beyond that there are no foreseeable difficulties.

2. Actions

  • Establishing a network of trained dementia champions within the practice to ensure their respective departments are dementia friendly

    Across the 5 departments of SMG (Clinical, Reception, Admin, Dispensary, & GPs) 5 dementia champions will be trained. These champions will be responsible for the running of their department in a dementia friendly way. For example, in the Admin department, protocols for contacting dementia patients over the phone could be developed based on training received from the Alzhiemer’s Society.

  • Training all staff in dementia awareness and response

     All receptionists will be trained in dementia awareness and response strategies, using the on-site training offered by dementia friends. This training will also be offered to other staff, but receptionists will be prioritised due to their lack of formal medical training, and their high level of interaction with patients. Other staff eligible for training are our Healthcare Assistants, and potentially our Administration team also.

  • Hosting, organising, and supporting dementia support groups

    Finally SMG will be looking into hosting, supporting and organising patient and carer support groups, including but not limited to: "Sing with us’, ‘dementia café" & Lincolnshire young carers partnership.