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North Yorkshire launches new dementia strategy

North Yorkshire launches new dementia strategy

Published at 4:03pm 15th May 2017. (Updated at 4:08pm 15th May 2017)

A new plan has been drawn up to improve support for people affected by dementia in North Yorkshire.

The strategy, called 'Bring Me Sunshine', is based on the experiences of those with the condition, their carers, and health and social care experts.

It describes the improvements which North Yorkshire County Council and its partners want to make over the next five years.

Richard Webb, Corporate Director for Health and Adult Services, said: "The draft strategy has been developed with the help of the Alzheimer's Society, together with the County Council's dementia support service providers, Dementia Forward and Making Space. They were all part of the editorial group and were able to involve people living with dementia in its development.

"They also organised and contributed to the North Yorkshire Dementia Congress in October 2016. 'Bring Me Sunshine' was the title of the congress and it was suggested by one of the county's dementia singing groups. It symbolises the fact that, although living with dementia brings many challenges, it does not automatically have to stop people enjoying life."

The strategy focuses on what dementia support services are available now, the initiatives already under way to support people whose lives are affected by the condition and local success stories about improved services and support.

It also looks at where support is not as good as it should be and the lessons which can be learned for the future.

The key themes, principles and priorities of 'Bring Me Sunshine' include challenging the stigma associated with dementia, the importance of early diagnosis, ensuring consistent care and support, and the value and importance of support for carers.

Dr Rick Sweeney, GP Governing Body Member for NHS Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We are pleased to work with the County Council and partners in the development of a strategy which will support this integrated working.

"It is vital that health, social and voluntary services work closely together, to provide the best possible support to help the increasing numbers of people living with dementia, their families and their carers to live well."

Cath Magee, Area Manager of Making Space, added: "We take great pride in the role our organisation has played in being part of the dementia strategy. There is so much to do and it all feels achievable.

"All of our organisations will continue to work well in partnership, to serve people living with dementia and their loved ones in North Yorkshire. We look forward to it."

North Yorkshire County Council is asking for views on 'Bring Me Sunshine' and more details can be found at www.northyorks.gov.uk/dementiastrategy