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Dementia friendly GP surgery is just what the doctor ordered

Two local doctors' surgeries have made simple changes to become more dementia friendly.

Celebrating Penn Manor Medical Centre becoming a Dementia Friendly GP Practice are, l-r, Cllr Sandra Samuels OBE, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, Helen Ryan, Practice Manager, and Dr John Burrell, Practice Director
Celebrating becoming Dementia Friendly

Penn Manor Medical Practice and Duncan Street Primary Care Centre in Blakenhall are now officially Dementia Friendly GP Practices after introducing a number of low cost changes which have made their services more accessible to people living with dementia and their carers.

They include enabling all staff, including those on reception, to become Dementia Friends, improving signage and developing a register of patients who may need reminding of upcoming appointments.

The changes have been made following a review by Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group, a member of the Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance, of national research which highlighted some of the challenges patients living with dementia and their carers faced when they visited their doctor, and changes which could help remove these barriers.

Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "Penn Manor Medical Practice and the Duncan Street Primary Care Centre are leading the way in our drive to create Dementia Friendly GP Practices in Wolverhampton.

"Penn Manor has quite a few patients living with dementia, and this is an opportunity to work better with them and ensure they and their carers have a good experience when they come to see their GP. We hope that other surgeries will follow in their lead and take some simple steps to become more dementia friendly."

Helen Ryan, Practice Manager, said: "We decided to go for Dementia Friendly GP Practice status because we wanted to make the patient experience much easier for people with signs of dementia, early dementia and later stage dementia.

"We have made some very small changes which are making a big difference to our patients' overall experience, including making information readily available to them and their families and making our signage much more dementia friendly. Our staff have also completed Dementia Friends training so that they better understand the difficulties that patients living with dementia have.

"The changes we have made will all help patients live better with their dementia, prevent them from being housebound and feel more able to come to the GP practice to get the help and support they need."

For more information about the help and support available to people living with dementia in Wolverhampton, please visit Dementia. To become a Dementia Friend, please visit Dementia Friends.  

People who are worried about dementia can contact the Alzheimer's Society for information and support either via the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 or by visiting Alzheimer's Society.

The City of Wolverhampton was officially granted Dementia Friendly Community status by the Alzheimer's Society in December in recognition of the efforts being made to improve services for people living with dementia, and their families and carers.

The City of Wolverhampton Council coordinates the Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance and manages an action plan on behalf of member organisations. For more information about the alliance, please visit Dementia Action Alliance.

  • released: Tuesday 3 July, 2018