This report is due to be considered at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee scheduled to take place on 2nd September 2021. Any changes to this report agreed by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be reported for the Executive Committee's consideration in a supplementary pack.
Councillor Michael Chalk, in his capacity as Chair of the Dementia Task Group, attended the meeting to present the group’s final report.
The Committee was informed that the Task Group’s investigation had taken 12 months to complete. During the review Members had gathered evidence from a range of expert witnesses. The review had taken slightly longer than originally anticipated due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.
There were various forms of dementia and it was estimated that, by the date of the meeting, up to 1.6 million people had a form of dementia in the UK and people in a range of age groups could develop dementia. The group had concluded that it was important to raise awareness of dementia, including both the symptoms and the impact that the illness could have on both patients and their families.
The group had proposed three recommendations. The first proposed that a Dementia Awareness Event should take place at the Town Hall. This type of event had taken place in previous years, prior to the pandemic, and provided a useful opportunity to share information about both dementia and the support services that were available locally to patients and families.
The second recommendation called for the Older People’s Services Booklet to be updated. Members were advised that there was a booklet already, though the content needed to be refreshed. This proposal would have implications, in terms of the officer time that would be required to work on updating the booklet.
The third recommendation suggested that there should be a Member training session focusing on dementia awareness. This would enable Members to identify the symptoms of dementia and potentially enable Members to work effectively with residents and families impacted by dementia, as part of their ward work activities.
The fourth recommendation had been added at the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 2nd September. This recommendation called for the Council’s Chief Executive, as part of work on the Integrated Care System, to work alongside partner agencies to provide Members with information about dementia services in the Borough. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee had concluded that this was a particularly important addition as it would help to ensure that Members were kept appraised of changing circumstances.
The Executive Committee subsequently discussed the proposals in detail. The Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulatory Services, in her capacity as the lead Portfolio Holder for health, commented that producing an insightful report such as this during a pandemic was commendable. Members were advised that the recommendations appeared to be achievable and would help to raise awareness of a condition that could have devastating impacts on both patients and their families. The reality of caring for a person with dementia was that it could be challenging, and carers could experience grief, loneliness, isolation, embarrassment and discrimination and these were all implications that needed to be taken into account. The Council would always try to address such issues and to provide communities with ... view the full minutes text for item 18