National praise for local scheme

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A NORTHUMBERLAND project which gives hospitals and care services useful information to help vulnerable people has received national praise.

This Is Me was developed to give relevant workers a snapshot of individuals with dementia, including their life background and personal needs.

Northumberland County Council’s adult services department worked on the project in partnership with Northumberland Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and The Alzheimer’s Society, which went on to produce a national version of the document.

Now the scheme has been acknowledged in a commission report on dignity in care for older people, set up by the NHS Confederation, Age UK and the Local Government Association.

Council Executive Member for Adult Care and Well-being Ian Lindley said: “I am pleased to see that the This is me document has been nationally recognised as an excellent example of agencies working together to not only raise the profile of people with dementia, but also leading to a better recognition of their problems and assisting in the training needs of staff which will ultimately provide a better approach to care.

“It is a crucial part of providing essential information which will direct staff on how to engage with a person who may be frightened and may otherwise have been seen as disruptive.”

The data contained in each document comes directly from the person with dementia or their carer.

It enables staff to gain a rapid and easily assimilated understanding of the unique person they are caring for and contains information unlikely to be found in formal assessments or medical notes.

The national version is now being widely used across the UK in a variety of care settings.