Patients, carers and friends and family’s views contribute to defining Croydon’s new dementia strategy
Healthwatch Croydon presents the final report on Dementia Pathway Experiences in Croydon, informing the Croydon Dementia Strategy through insightful surveys with patients, carers, and friends/family, in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Society.
Issues raised include diagnosis time, post diagnosis support, support and care needs, advance care planning, information services for both patients and carers, understanding needs and preferences, as well as suggested improvements, concerns about going into care home and hospitals and what contributes to making Croydon dementia friendly.
Recommendations included better communication and information, improving the time for diagnosis, care planning and reassessments, increased carers support, understanding needs and preferences, and better awareness. These have informed the Croydon Dementia Strategy due to be published later this year.
Dr Emily Symington, GP – Parchmore Medical Centre, Croydon, and Clinical Lead – Personalised Care, Population Health Management, Long Term Conditions, Croydon Place, said: “The Dementia & Older Adults Steering Group have found the survey useful to understand the views of people with dementia, their families and carers living within Croydon. We heard about how communication at all parts of their journey was important and how people wanted to be supported and heard by those providing services. The findings have underpinned the development of the Croydon Dementia Strategy which is due to be published later in 2023. The Croydon Dementia Strategy focuses on the diagnosis and support available for dementia; and how to ensure people in Croydon are able to live well with dementia as well as coming to the end of their life well. We have been able to take the different responses and apply these within each part of the dementia pathway, weaving in feedback comments and emphasising the importance of information and support at every stage. As a part of the development process, we have been able to feedback to system partners points about specific services and think about what could be changed to meet the identified needs. Healthwatch Croydon is a valued partner, and we would like to thank Gordon and team for their hard work on this report. We look forward to exploring future possibilities with the Croydon Healthwatch team as we begin to implement the dementia strategy and measure its outcomes.”
Gordon Kay, Healthwatch Croydon Manager, said: “Dementia is a high priority for all health and social care providers. There is an estimated 3,597 people over the age of 65 with dementia in Croydon, and this is predicted to rise to 5,471 by 2039 yet only 2,692 have received a diagnosis. Our partnership work with the Alzheimer’s Society to understand experiences of views of patients, carers and friends and families has helped define the soon-to-be publishes strategy and make a difference to all those affected by dementia in the coming years. We have already received positive feedback from key stakeholders. As a member of the Croydon Dementia Action Alliance, we look forward to working with services in the coming years to ensure all the recommendations are implemented.”