Dementia friendly GP practices

In June 2014, Bury CCG embarked on a project to redesign care for people with non-complex dementia and embed it into the mainstream work undertaken by GP practices in Bury.  

As part of the consultation taken during the development of the Bury Dementia Action Alliance strategy in October 2015, people delivering and accessing services said that they would like more GP practices to be aware of dementia and how it affects families.

In order to address these concerns, 5 voluntary sector organisations were awarded a share of £100,000 funding to help improve mental health wellbeing in Bury. Alongside Making Space, the other 4 successful organisations were:

  • The Asian Development Association
  • Groundwork Bury 
  • Streetwise 2000 Young Persons’ Service’s Wise Up scheme 
  • Turning Point 

How did we help?

During 2015-16, Bury GP practices were encouraged to hold `dementia learning times initiative’ sessions. These are sponsored CCG multidisciplinary team (clinical and non-clinical) educational sessions held in practices and aimed to make GP practices more dementia friendly.

Using the funding from the Bury CCG mental health investment programme, we were able to support and deliver these sessions.

Our aims were:

  1. To improve patient and carer experience at GP practices
  2. To improve the quality of life for patients
  3. To create a dementia friendly community in and around the practice
  4. To improve teamwork within practices
  5. To improve care planning for people with dementia
  6. To reduce the number of people presenting in crisis at A&E
  7. To reduce the number of emergency admissions
  8. To reduce the cost of crisis and emergency services

What did the project entail?

We offered each of the 33 GP practices in Bury a 2 hour session led by an experienced facilitator.

The agenda included:

  • General awareness based on a dementia friends session adapted for general practice staff
  • A discussion about local support for patients and carers
  • A discussion about the benefits of people living with dementia engaging in social and physical activities
  • Bespoke support to support them to become a dementia friendly practice

Each practice was provided with a dementia information pack, which included: 

  • Dementia Action Alliance leaflets
  • Bury Dementia Guide booklet for people with dementia and their carers
  • Details of dementia groups in the local area
  • Dementia and sensory challenges leaflet
  • Dementia friendly environment checklist

Each practice was encouraged to join the local Dementia Action Alliance and to link in with activities to support the development of dementia friendly communities. We also ran focus groups on behalf of the CCG to feed back how patients and carers felt.

Benefits identified:

  • Increased awareness of dementia resulting in timelier diagnosis and increased dementia diagnosis rates
  • Increased awareness of and uptake of services supporting people with dementia and their carers
  • Individuals are understood, respected and supported by all practice staff and the wider community

Read the full report here