By: Alice McKeegan M.E.N.
July 31, 2012
Dementia advisers are being employed in Manchester as part of a pilot to provide more support to sufferers and their carers.
Three assistant psychologists will be employed as dementia advisers in the city, working alongside other services to provide advice and one-to-one help.
Anyone who is diagnosed with the condition over the next year will be able to take part in the trial, being run by Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, NHS Manchester, and Manchester council.
Around 4,000 people in the city have dementia – but the figure is expected to rise as the population ages.
The government’s dementia tsar, Professor Alistair Burns, who is based at Wythenshawe Hospital, welcomed the project – and said he hoped it would offer reassurance to newly-diagnosed patients.
The national clinical director said: “The initiative on dementia advisers in the Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust is to be welcomed. We know that the provision of high quality information and support is so important, and these dementia advisers will play a key role in improving the quality of life for people with dementia and their carers.”
The pilot has been launched in response to guidance from the National Dementia Strategy, which highlighted that people need to be given improved access to information and support after they are diagnosed.
And it also follows feedback from people with the condition in Manchester who said they needed dedicated advisers to offer more support in the early stages.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron described dementia as ‘one of the greatest challenges of our time’ and vowed to do more to tackle the issue and support families affected by the condition.
He said: “One of the greatest challenges of our time is what I’d call the quiet crisis, one that steals lives and tears at the hearts of families. We’ve got to treat this like the national crisis it is.”
There are an estimated 670,000 people in England with dementia and numbers are expected to double within thirty years.