18 May 2015

More people with dementia are returning to their own homes after a hospital admission thanks to a new initiative between health and social care.

The partnership project, led by Northamptonshire County Council and NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group, has resulted in 57% of dementia patients being discharged back to their own home, compared with 11% in December 2013.

Raising awareness

Today (Monday) is the start of Dementia Awareness Week and figures show there are almost 8,000 people living with the condition in Northamptonshire. The majority of people with dementia are living in their own homes, and wish to continue to do so for as long as possible, which this project has enabled more people to do.

As part of the Older Persons Mental Health Pathway project, the county council contributed £223,000 to fund eight beds for patients ready to be discharged from hospital but not yet ready to return home.

A further £410,000 was provided by the Better Care Fund – a health and social care partnership fund – to enhance staffing levels and improve the community team.

Other partners involved in the initiative include Olympus Care Services, Northampton Healthcare Foundation Trust, Northampton General Hospital and Lingswood Medical Practice.

'Making a difference'

Cllr Suresh Patel, county council cabinet member for adult social care, said: “This new project has delivered real results for people living with dementia, enabling more patients to return to the familiar surroundings of their own home rather than having to go into a care home.

“Dementia is set to affect an increasing number of us in our older years and it is fantastic to see that this partnership approach is making a difference to those with the condition.”

The Older Persons Mental Health Pathway was shortlisted for a 2014 Health Service Journal Award in the ‘Improved Partnerships between Health and Local Government’ category last year.