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NHS clinical director praises attitude of Tower Hamlets staff caring for dementia sufferers

PUBLISHED: 14:16 06 August 2014 | UPDATED: 14:16 06 August 2014

Professor Alistair Burns, pictured far left, with the Tower Hamlets Dementia Partnership

Professor Alistair Burns, pictured far left, with the Tower Hamlets Dementia Partnership

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The National Clinical Director for Dementia at NHS England has praised the 'can-do' attitude of staff providing dementia services for patients in Tower Hamlets.

Professor Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia at NHS England and Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Manchester, was in the borough to see its dementia services. He was previously in Tower Hamlets to formally open Columbia Ward, East London NHS Foundation Trust’s centralised dementia assessment unit in 2012.

He was interested to hear how services have developed since then and the Tower Hamlets Dementia Partnership spent time with him, highlighting the impact of their work on patients.

Professor Burns said: “It was really striking to see the passion for collaboration and the ‘can-do’ attitude in the room. A key part of the success of the developments in Tower Hamlets has been the adoption of a joint strategy that everyone has signed up for. The success is palpable and is serving the needs of people with dementia and their carers fantastically well.”

Dr Judith Littlejohn, GP and Mental Health Lead for Tower Hamlets CCG talked about how partnership working had improved the experience for patients. CCG Commissioner Richard Fradgley reviewed statistics and benchmarking across England which showed that Tower Hamlets is in the top three for diagnosis of dementia, a big change from two years ago when the borough was second from the bottom of the table.

Team Leader Corinne Drummond talked about Awareness Raising sessions held in the East London Mosque for Imams in the borough who were very receptive to the information and vowed to cascade it down.

Bill Gibbons for the Alzheimer’s Society spoke about the benefits of being co-located with the dementia team.

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