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UK-first for Durham as emergency services join forces

Emergency services signing

Image: Group photo of members representing the different services, to sign the document

Emergency services in Durham will become the first in the UK to join forces in a unique collaboration to improve the lives of people with dementia.

On Monday County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, Durham Police and North East Ambulance Service will come together to sign a document pledging support for the new initiative.

The Strategic Commitment on Dementia will see all three services backing a series of measures including…

  • Working towards becoming dementia friendly employers with suitable employment policies and procedures in place support colleagues who become carers or those who themselves develop dementia.
  • Ensuring staff have the necessary awareness, skills and understanding to recognise and support people living with dementia before, during and after an emergency incident.
  • Working with local partners to maintain and improve the general safety of people living with dementia, their families and carers.
  • Supporting Alzheimer’s Society in its quest to develop more dementia-friendly communities and Dementia Friends in line with the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia and the subsequent duty on all public services.

In attendance at the signing will be Colin  Bage, Deputy Chief Fire Officer at CCDFRS, Yvonne Ormston, Chief Executive Office at NEAS and Rachel Stockdale, Crime and Harm Reduction Unit Inspector at Durham Police.

Ron Hogg, Durham’s Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner said: “The new Strategic Commitment between the emergency services is a positive step forward towards protecting and supporting those suffering from dementia.

“I have personal experience of supporting others with this illness, and I’m pleased to be working with like-minded professionals to ensure vulnerable residents get the committed help they need from our emergency services.”

Andrew Ball, Senior Dementia Friendly Communities Officer for Alzheimer’s Society, said: “The Emergency Services play a vital part in keeping people living with dementia safe in their own community. 

“By signing this document they are showing their commitment to ensuring staff have the necessary knowledge and understanding to support people living with dementia and prevent emergency situations happening. 

“I am so proud of this partnership work. The fact that each emergency service in County Durham has committed to this document can only strengthen that relationship.”

Mark Henderson, Vulnerable Persons Advocate for CDDFRS, said: “These commitments will improve our services and care for people living with dementia.

“Our policies and procedures, practices, training and the application of all that we do will require regular updates and assessment to ensure we keep pace with developments in the fight against this disease.

“To this end, we will commit to working closely with recognised experts in organisations such as Alzheimer’s Society to seek best practice for the practical application of this pledge.

“And we will invite robust review as we continually challenge ourselves; and our organisations to improve our services in the communities we serve.”

- Ends -

Notes to editors:

  • Alzheimer's Society is the UK's leading dementia charity. We provide information and support, fund research, campaign to improve care and create lasting change for people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Dementia devastates lives. Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 850,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia. By 2021, 1 million people will be living with the condition. This will soar to two million by 2051.
  • Dementia deaths are rising year on year and 225,000 will develop dementia this year - that’s one every three minutes.
  • Dementia costs the UK economy over £26 billion per year. This is the equivalent of more than £30,000 per person with dementia. 
  • Alzheimer’s Society funds research into the cause, care, cure and prevention of all types of dementia and has committed to spend at least £150 million on research over the next decade. This includes a £50 million investment in the UK's first dedicated Dementia Research Institute.
  • Until the day we find a cure, Alzheimer's Society will be here for anyone affected by dementia - wherever they are, whatever they're going through. Everything we do is informed and inspired by them.
  • Let's take on dementia together. Volunteer. Donate. Campaign for change. Whatever you do, unite with us against dementia. 
  • Alzheimer’s Society relies on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0330 333 0804 or visiting alzheimers.org.uk.  
  • Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, the number is 0300 222 11 22 or visit alzheimers.org.uk  
  • Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @Alzheimerssoc
  • Like us on Facebook
  • Alzheimer’s Society YouTube channel www.youtube.com/AlzheimersSociety
Posted on Friday 28th July 2017
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