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Watchdog plans to map dementia services in Rutland

Healthwatch Rutland chairman Jennifer Fenelon

Healthwatch Rutland chairman Jennifer Fenelon

A health watchdog has launched a new scheme to put together a comprehensive picture of dementia services in Rutland.

Healthwatch Rutland revealed the project at its annual general meeting on Wednesday. The watchdog hopes to develop a thorough picture of what services are available for dementia suffers in the county, and what both users and carers feel about the services.

Healthwatch Rutland chairman Jennifer Fenelon said the group was working with a wide range of organisations to make sure services for people with dementia were “the best they possibly can be”.

The project is being led by Margaret Demaine, who said: “Ensuring dementia users and carers are supported is a huge challenge for Rutland and is set to get more so as the proportion of elderly rises.”

Project manager, Lisa Stapleton has already started gathering people’s experiences and producing a detailed map of services.

She wants to hear from as many people as possible and can be contacted on info@healthwatchrutland.co.uk

She said: “We have heard people describe services that are good and others that are not so good as well as gaps where services should be . We want to hear from many more to build a county-wide picture of people’s experiences.”

Once the research is complete it will be presented at a conference in November.

The annual general meeting marked a year since Healthwatch Rutland was set up. The meeting was opened by former High Sheriff of Rutland Trish Ruddle, who last month set up the For Rutland In Rutland charity to help a range of groups.

She said: “I can’t tell you how pleased I am that our own health and social care watchdog is back in Rutland and based in Oakham. We are very reassured our watchdog is at the table helping bring the voice of Rutland people to the decision making process.”

On the agenda at the meeting was the new five-year health and social care plan for the area, which includes a shift towards community-based care.

Operations director of the East Leicestershire and Rutland clinical commissioning group Tim Sacks outlined plans for the future.

After hearing from Mr Sacks, Mrs Fenelon said: “We hear from people across Rutland that they welcome the proposed shift towards community based care but we are concerned by the size of the financial challenge.

“In Rutland people find transport very difficult and want services brought closer to home where possible. Healthwatch will be examining the detail of plans as they are worked up over the summer.”

The proposals will be put to public consultation in 2015. To comment e-mail info@healthwatchrutland.co.uk or write to: Healthwatch Rutland, c/o Voluntary Action Rutland, Lands’ End Way, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6RB.

 

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