Local doctors earn recognition in field of dementia

Posted on 28th September, 2007

The Royal College of Psychiatry has recognised the work of four psychiatrists from the Trust for their ground breaking work in the field of dementia. Dr David Somerfield and Dr Joanna Wildgoose, both based at the Chadwell Centre in Paignton with their colleagues Drs Jane Batstone and David Pearce, have been awarded first and second prize respectively in the South West division of the Royal College’s awards for innovation. First prize was awarded for the carers’ course and accompanying DVDs that have been designed by the team at the Chadwell Centre in conjunction with James Drummond, from Torbay Care Trust, and the Alzheimer’s Society. The course was started a few years ago as an educational and support group for the carers of people with dementia. It covers areas including different types of dementia, dealing with difficult behaviours and legal issues. The DVDs highlight some of the behavioural problems associated with dementia and include clips of carers managing these at home, along with footage of carers discussing their difficulties and solutions. Second prize was awarded for the establishment of a medication clinic at the Chadwell Centre for the effective prescription of cholinesterase inhibitors (anti dementia drugs). Previously, patients were seen at home by a doctor and reviewed every six months. Set up two years ago, the clinic has reduced waiting times for prescriptions and enabled far more people to be seen, with specialist nurses carrying out many of the reviews under medical supervision. Commenting on the awards, Dr Joanna Wildgoose said: “It is important to stress that these awards reflect the commitment and endeavour of the whole team at the Chadwell Centre and we are delighted that our work in such an important field has been recognised. Devon has a large and increasing elderly population and it is important that we are at the forefront of providing services to help people understand and manage dementia.”