Successful dementia service in line for award

October 04 2016

A PIONEERING service launched to speed up dementia diagnosis and early treatment in South Gloucestershire has already slashed waiting times.

A PIONEERING service launched to speed up dementia diagnosis and early treatment in South Gloucestershire has already slashed waiting times.
In its first year, the GP-provided service has cut waiting times of up to nine months to less than six weeks.
Diagnosis rates have also risen from 38 per cent to 58 per cent over the same period.
The memory assessment service was developed by South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and is run by GP practices using a simple screening tool.
Its success has resulted in it being shortlisted for an award, as well as being adopted in other areas of the UK.
Dr Peter Bagshaw, South Gloucestershire’s clinical lead for dementia and a GP, said: “Our ageing population means supporting people with dementia is a top priority for the CCG.
“Early diagnosis is particularly important because it allows treatment plans to be put in place as soon as possible.”  
If left untreated, dementia can increase the chance of people becoming ill or injured, adding to pressures on NHS services.
That is a particular concern in areas such as South Gloucestershire, where the population of elderly people is higher than the national average.
But early diagnosis of the condition can play a key part in helping people get the care they need.
Before the service started, patients had to attend a specialist memory clinic for assessment - often a major problem for the elderly and frail and those with difficulties in travelling far.
The service has been shortlisted for the Health Service Journal awards in the category for  innovation in mental health. The winners will be announced later in the year.