Douglas Macmillan Hospice has teamed up with St. Giles’ Hospice as part of an innovative and award-winning project, Memory First, which sets out to redefine the way people with dementia are cared for.
Spearheaded by GP Dr. Ian Greaves, Memory First delivers an integrated care solution and moves away from the traditional purely medical model currently in use.
Dr. Greaves explains: “With an ageing population the old models of dementia care are not sustainable. Carrying on in the same way is simply not an option.
“Integration is crucial in delivering a package of care that supports those with dementia, and their families. We need a system that is quick to respond and simple to navigate, and that is what Memory First offers.”
Drawing on expertise from The King’s Fund, the London School of Economics and Brunel University, Dr Greaves’ team from the Gnosall Health Centre, Stafford, is trialling the system with 162 GPs in 41 practices across the region. Building on the success of Gnosall Memory Clinic, the service is scheduled to be rolled out from Monday 13th January.
Central to the way Memory First challenges existing care practices is a team of non-clinical Eldercare Facilitators recruited and managed by Douglas Macmillan Hospice and St Giles Hospice, who will provide support to the patient, family and carer in addition to coordinating their attendance at memory clinics within GP practices.
Michelle Roberts Chief Executive of Douglas Macmillan Hospice said: “We were delighted to be able to lend our support to this innovative programme of care. Although the Eldercare Facilitators are funded by the NHS, we were able to use our expertise to identify and recruit the very best people for the job.
“Two teams of Facilitators, managed by ourselves and our friends at the St Giles Hospice in Lichfield, will champion patients, their families and their carers and work to ensure they get the support they need at such a difficult time.”
Dr Greaves’ Memory First project was recognised in the 2013 NHS Innovation Partnership Challenge, and was singled out for its success in integrating medical, non-medical and charitable organisations to meet the needs of ‘the community, the client and the NHS as a whole’.