A dedicated focus group was held with dementia service users and their carers on 9 May 2018 at the Alzheimer’s Society office in Solihull.
Why was it important to engage with dementia patients and carers?
We are committed to understanding the experience of patients, so that services are designed and improved based on what is working well.
The engagement exercise was aimed at gaining an understanding of beliefs and attitudes related to dementia and dementia support services; the group shared experiences of the current provision and suggested improvements for future dementia healthcare across Birmingham and Solihull. Patients commented particularly on equity of access; some people had experiences a very responsive service offering early diagnosis, support and care for those affected, while others had difficulty in accessing the appropriate level of care in a timely manner.
Our findings and recommendations for future services:
The findings concluded that there were many areas of good practice which should be built on, and recommendations to the commissioning manager for future services included but were not limited to:
- Commissioning better service provision
- Building on what worked well
- Eliminating any postcode lottery
- Providing equity of access, being more inclusive and co-designing services to meet patient needs, which would lead to improved outcomes.
The service should also help those diagnosed with dementia to live more independently, by knowing how to access appropriate services in a timely manner. It should also help patients and carers to become more informed so that they are more in control of their dementia support.