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New community strategy to improve dementia diagnosis in Kingston

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Dementia Strategy launched in Kingston Dementia strategy aims to improve diagnosis and support

Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Kingston Council have jointly formed a strategy to better support people with dementia in the community.

The strategy aims to ensure that more people with dementia are diagnosed and that they receive better care in the community setting to avoid hospital commissions.

Currently only 60% of people with dementia in Kingston have been formally diagnosed. The strategy highlights that there is a need for training people who work and care for people with dementia. This includes community nurses, GPs, hospital and social care staff, carers, the voluntary sector, home care agencies and care home staff.

The strategy outlined the need to address care pathways to ensure that patients do not fall between services, such as community mental health teams and the Kingston Wellbeing service.

Dr Phil Moore, lead GP for mental health at Kingston CCG, said: 'Quality of life is not only highlighted within the strategy, but is at the heart of the overarching plan for integrated care in the borough. If people with dementia can continue to live within their local community, being well-supported but still independent, that is the best outcome for everyone.'

Councillor Julie Pickering, lead member for health and social care at Kingston Council, said: 'There are currently 1600 residents in Kingston who have diagnosed or undiagnosed dementia, and this number is set to increase to 1800 by 2020.

'Having a dementia strategy with a local perspective is what sets us apart as a borough. We're committed to providing the best possible care and support to both those with dementia and their carers, and being targeted in our approach is the way to do this.'

The strategy also addressed the need to properly support carers by giving them the opportunity to shape services available to those they care for and to ensure that improved links between services benefit the carers.

Many people with dementia have at least one other co-existing illness and 59% of patients with dementia have two or more co-existing illnesses.

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