Funding boost for local dementia care settings

£1.53m has been awarded by the Department of Health towards creating supportive dementia-friendly settings in a ward at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital and in eight wards in five community hospitals across the county following the bid, which involved partnership working between Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG).

Oxfordshire County Council led the bid and has responsibility for delivering of the overall Programme, which is called The Oxfordshire Dignity Plus Programme.

Money will also be used to make changes and developments in 18 residential and nursing care homes in Oxfordshire - where more than 800 residents with dementia live - to help raise the standard of care there.

Range of improvements to be made

Improvements will include changes to flooring, wall colours, furniture and the creation of quiet spaces, designed to create calmer surroundings for those living with dementia. The emphasis will be on projects and improvements that meet The Kings Fund design concepts of creating space, light and access to the outside.

The funding will assist with the Oxfordshire Dementia Programme, a joint plan involving health and social care teams in the county which is designed to raise awareness of the condition locally and working towards sharing expertise and learning.

Positive partnership working

Councillor Judith Heathcoat, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "This is just wonderful news and another positive example of the close working relationship between the county council and our health partners.

"This money will help improve the lives of many people by creating dementia-friendly environments through changes to the interior of care homes and hospitals to better cater for people there.

"I look forward to seeing the money being put to good use in Oxfordshire and I congratulate all of those who were involved in the funding bid."

Tackling dementia

Dr Joe McManners, Clinical Director for Older People at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We’re delighted with this successful bid which will make a big difference to the lives of dementia patients across Oxfordshire. The money will help them live well and more comfortably in care settings, and I thank our partners for all the hard work we’ve put in together to make it possible.

"This initiative fits in with our priority as commissioners to help improve the quality of health services for older people in the county through our joint commissioning strategy for this group. It highlights the importance of tackling dementia and making sure all services are aware of their needs."