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Bradford and Airedale Mental Health Advocacy Group

We are a user led mental health advocacy organisation, set up an run by mental health service users and carers. We provide both statutory and non statutory mental health advocacy as well as volunteering and befriending opportunities. We also have a group advocacy project. We have started to undertake other advocacy work which is outside of the scope of mental health, taking on the NHS Complaints Advocacy service.

Updated:
3 November 2016
Location:
Yorkshire and Humber
Sectors:
Care, Charity, Health, Other, Social Care, Voluntary, Voluntary Sector
Local Alliances:
Bradford District Dementia Action Alliance, Yorkshire & Humber 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?

As a user led advocacy organisation, we stive to ensure that people get their voice heard, regardless of their illness, including those we work with who have dementia. We also strive to ensure that people know what their options are, and that professionals consider ALL options, including those which may be seen as 'risky' but are what the person needs. Our concern is what people want and how they can achieve this to live the life that they chose to the fullest.

Where people are unaware of their options, illness or treatment plans, we ensure that we gather information, or professionals to give this knowledge so that they might make informed choices about their future.

Part of the work we do involves training professionals in services about ensuring we listen to someone to enable better outcomes, and that although they may feel someone is being unrealistic ot its their'illness talking', there may be more behind that and we need to explore options rather than dismiss someone in light of their condition.

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

Although understanding around the needs of people with dementia has definitely improved since we started our older people's advocacy project, there is still some distance to go. Hospital, Care Home and Auxillary services often employ staff that are not trained in understadning the behaviour of people experiencing the symptoms of dementia, and this can profoundly impact their experience of services. We still fight to ensure it is the person rather than the family that is put at the heart of the process, and that they deserve a voice, no matter how advanced their dementia is.

Member website

www.bamhag.org.uk

2. Actions

  • Raise Dementia Awareness within the organisation

    Ask all members of staff to become dementia friends, and encourage Trustees and Volunteers to also undertake this.

    Provide segment within volunteer training to raise awareness about dementia

    PPDG session dealing with how to respond to enquiries or calls within the office from those who have dementia.

    Talk by the Older Person’s Advocate about the challenges of working with dementia and how to overcome them

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    All staff have been asked to become dementia friends and volunteer co-ordinators are looking at how to incorperate dementia awareness in to training.

  • Raise awareness of Mental Capacity Act and Rights

    Ensure that all within the organisation have a basic understanding of the MCA and the entitlement to make our own choices

    Ensure that people are all aware as to how this can be used to ensure that people with dementia are able to have a say

    Status:
    Being implemented
  • Promote a Person centred approach

    Ensuring that people take the time to get to know their client, not just who they are now, but who they were prior to onset of illness.

    Status:
    Being implemented
  • Make Stronger Links

    Ensuring we make stronger links within the district with the Alzhiemer’s Society and Age Concern so that people are aware of their support options.

    Status:
    Being implemented