Dorset news

Frontline healthcare staff from the South West are in with a chance to scoop a £150,000 prize as part of a major new initiative to reform the way people with dementia are cared for.

There is an estimated 83,269 people with dementia across the South West and one person across the UK is diagnosed with the condition every 3.2 minutes. The condition has replaced cancer as the biggest challenge facing the health service. Yet access to dementia services is often difficult and confusing because so many different types of intervention and treatment are required.

Now, in a bid to join up and simplify the way dementia care is provided, the NHS has launched a national competition to capture new ideas from staff and volunteers working on the dementia frontline.

The NHS Innovation Challenge Prize for Dementia aims to identify innovative new ways of integrating dementia care by redesigning services around the needs of patients, improving diagnosis and reducing both the number of hospital attendances and the amount of time patients spend in hospital.

Winners will receive national recognition for their achievements with the potential for their approach to be scaled up across the rest of the country.

Prof Alistair Burns, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Dementia, said: “We need to see a shift in the way dementia care is organised and delivered in the UK if we are to deliver better outcomes for people with dementia, and their carers, and help them live well with dementia.

“People with dementia and their carers want, and deserve, integrated health and social care approaches which fit their lifestyles and allow them to access services when it suits them, not when it suits the service. It’s crucial, therefore, that care is co-ordinated, person-centred and tailored to individual need.

“We know that great examples of excellent care already exist and we look forward to seeing a number of high quality submissions from across the South West. The ultimate goal is to find innovative and novel approaches which can have a measurable impact on outcomes for people with dementia, and which can be replicated nationally.”

The NHS Innovation Challenge Prize for Dementia has been made possible thanks to the support of Janssen Healthcare Innovation, an entrepreneurial team within Janssen Research & Development, LLC (Janssen)

It is open to anyone working on the frontline of dementia care – from GPs, specialist nurses and social workers to support workers, charities and patient support groups.

The deadline for submissions is 4 September 2013 at midday. The final stage of the challenge will announce the winner(s), which is expected later in 2013.

Further information and application details are available at www.nhschallengeprizes.org

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