The Norfolk & Suffolk Dementia Alliance launch at Manorcourt Centre in Griston - From left, Barbara Pointon MBE, with Tracy Wharvell (Safe & Settled), Willie Cruickshank (Norfolk & Suffolk Dementia Alliance), Philippa Shreeve (equip 4 change), Claire Gilbert (Norfolk & Suffolk Dementia Alliance), Andy Bantock (Manorcourt MD) and Dr Jan Sheldon (Royal Ass of Deaf People). Picture: Matthew Usher.

Pledge for excellence in dementia care for Norfolk, Suffolk and Kent launched

By rosa mcmahon
Saturday, February 23, 2013
7.00 AM

An initiative advocating exemplary care for people in the region affected by dementia was launched in mid Norfolk yesterday.

Manorcourt Care day centre in Griston hosted the Dementia Pledge for Norfolk Suffolk and Kent, which encourages those caring for people with dementia, either at home or in day centres, to sign up and commit to providing high standards of care.

A central part of the pledge, which aims to include more than 500 care providers, is to put the individual with dementia at the centre of care, as well as gaining a strong understanding of the condition.

Supported by the Department of Health, the pledge is being led by the Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance and is based on four key principles.

These are knowing the person living with the condition, promoting quality care and life, the idea that everybody has a leadership role, and having value-focused care.

Barbara Pointon, who is an ambassador for dementia care after caring for her husband with the condition for 16 years, said at the launch: “I have been championing a better deal for people with dementia and their carers for many years. I think this pledge is really hopeful for excellent care.”

The pledge is aimed primarily at the social care work force in care homes and in domiciliary home-based care.

Martin Green, chief executive of the English Community Care Association, welcomed the initiative, saying: “Dementia care and support is complex and the Dementia Pledge provides four clear principles that care providers can use to demonstrate their commitment to ensuring their workforce has the knowledge and skills to provide the care and support required by the individual.”

Willie Cruickshank, director of Norfolk and Suffolk alliance, also spoke at the launch event.

Pam Anderson, manager of Manorcourt home care in Swaffham, who is one of the first to sign up, said she saw the investment in dementia care as important because of the growing number of people developing the condition.

She said: “I feel it’s [the pledge] a way forward and will really raise awareness.”