Working Towards Being Dementia Friendly.
The Dementia Action Alliance is a national movement created on the back of the then Prime Minister David Cameron's Dementia Strategy, which called for services across the country to change and improve by 2020.
The Alliance designed a principal framework that highlighted key categories that needed improvement including, Health, Transport, Communities and Leisure.
In order to implement the strategy effectively a regional approach was devised which identified and responded to each areas' specific needs.
In our local region the Hull Dementia Action Alliance is led by Hull City Council through the Dementia Academy. HDAA is made up of passionate and interested parties from both statutory and voluntary sector organisations with representatives from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals (HEY) Alzheimer's Society, East Yorkshire Motors Services (EYMS) ASDA, Hull Libraries and Dove House Hospice. The HDAA is chaired by June Cooke of Butterflies Memory Loss Support Group.
At the Dementia Awareness Event during the nationwide Alzheimer's Society Dementia Week in 2016, a booklet was presented that contained details of existing services in the region that supported those people dealing with dementia. The colour booklet responded to the users' need for a one-stop-shop for information relating to services and support for dementia community, and was widely distributed on the day.
The Voice and Influence Forum was started on the back of the Health and Well Being Project. The forum is headed up by representatives of the CCG, HDAA and others as appropriate.
The forum meet bi-monthly with the first meeting taking place in 2016 and attended by people living with dementia and those supporting them.
The first stage took the form of a digital project with participants using digital technology to create artworks as a tool for storytelling.
Photographer Jerome Whittingham led a series of sessions that looked at different image-making techniques including participants re-imagining vintage movie posters.
Voice and Influence Forum Agenda
October 2016 (first meeting)
There are issues with transport in general: particularly for those dealing with dementia accessing local transport including bus and taxi services.
EYMS have successfully delivered dementia training for all their bus drivers.
Cllr. Gwen Lunn (Portfolio Holder for Adult Services) worked with Hull City Council Licensing Dept for taxi drivers. As a result the licensing department now encourage all drivers to take on Dementia Friendly Training when renewing their license.
Approximately 120 taxi drivers have completed the training course delivered by the Dementia Academy and now prominently display 'Working Towards Being Dementia Friendly' stickers in their vehicles.
The Dementia Academy is now holding monthly training for drivers. Approximately 120 taxi drivers have completed the training course delivered by the Dementia Academy and now prominently display 'Working Towards Being Dementia Friendly' stickers in their vehicles. The stickers quickly and clearly identify to potential passengers that the driver is aware of the needs of passengers dealing with dementia.
After the initial success of the taxi initiative a wider goal was announced in December 2016 for all taxi drivers city wide, to undergo the dementia friendly training and display the 'Working Towards Being Dementia Friendly' sticker in their vehicles.
Concern over benefits and carer's support services - identified a number of issues to be raised and addressed in the near future.
A discussion around forum users' varying experiences of shopping and accessing other services, uncovered areas where improvements could be made.
A mystery shopper programme has been developed in conjunction with organisations signed up to Hull Dementia Action Alliance. Action plans have been designed and written by the various organisations setting out how they are making improvements to their businesses working towards becoming dementia friendly.
There is a need to ensure that the pledges made by the organisations in their action plans are being followed by the existing staff and that new staff are made aware of the pledges.
Those businesses that are deemed excellent ought to be recognised as such, the message of working towards being dementia friendly is one that can be celebrated throughout the community.
The forms used by the mystery shoppers have been purposely designed by those people with dementia who will be the ones gathering the research, and recording their experiences. The areas identified on the form respond directly to the needs and concerns of those with dementia. There are a number of different ways to fill in these forms including number systems and picture based responses so the mystery shopper can choose thgeir preferred method.
The input from the dementia groups throughout the mystery shopper programme, from the consultation process to putting it into practice, is evidence of the value of empowering those with dementia to contribute directly to making the city more dementia friendly.
The Mystery Shopper programme will be reviewed, looking to identify issues arising from participants' experiences of conducting the survey. The data collected will then be reviewed alongside the action plans to make sure that the businesses and services are meeting their pledges.
Subsequent meetings of the Voice and Influence Forum are to be held in June at the James Reckitt Reading Room. They are open to anyone who has an interest in improving the lives of those people experiencing dementia in the city.