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Torbay - Dementia Team of the Year

Posted on 12th May, 2015

Torbay is at the forefront of the country’s dementia care after receiving a top award at a national ceremony. Devon Partnership NHS Trust was named Dementia Team of the Year at the British Medical Journal awards ceremony last week. The award is in recognition of the work undertaken in care homes, where dementia champions are working to improve knowledge, leadership skills and confidence among care home staff. The scheme was made possible by a two-year Prime Minister's Challenge Fund grant of £255,000 and the support of South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Judges at the awards said: “This innovative project was truly person-centred and is improving care for some of the most disenfranchised and vulnerable people in society – those with dementia who live in care homes.” At the ceremony, tributes were paid to Tammy Jones and Natalie Portwine, Devon Partnership NHS Trust’s dementia facilitators, whose work is improving knowledge, leadership skills and confidence among South Devon care home staff. Dr Nick Cartmell, GP lead for dementia at South Devon and Torbay CCG, said he hoped the good work undertaken in Torbay would serve as an inspiration elsewhere in England. He added: “I am delighted that this project, which was funded by money designed specifically to improve dementia care, has won such a prestigious award. This is deserved recognition of the hard work and enthusiasm of everyone involved in it. “The benefits it has brought care homes in Torbay and, most importantly their residents with dementia, are huge. “We now need to work hard to make sure that these benefits not only continue in Torbay but spread to other parts of the country to help as many care home residents with dementia as possible.” Dr David Somerfield, Co-Medical Director at Devon Partnership NHS Trust added: 
“I echo Nick’s comments and congratulate everyone who has been involved. It’s a fantastic achievement.  “Our aims were to improve the quality of support in Torbay’s care homes and to reduce emergency hospital admissions. The first aim appears to have been achieved, with good feedback from patients and carers. The second aim will be the subject of longer-term analysis, conducted independently by a team at Plymouth University.” Ian Sherriff, Academic Partnership Lead for Dementia at Plymouth University, said: “We are very pleased to be working in this multi-disciplinary partnership, which is changing the lives of people with dementia and their families in the Torbay area. “It is an example of how the knowledge of our dementia team can make a difference to communities, something which could now be applied elsewhere in the country, and it is fantastic for everyone involved to have this work recognised by an organisation as prestigious as the British Medical Journal.”

(L-R): Jim Delves Governor DPT, Alex Puchala, Assistant Psychologist DPT, Chris Whitehead Managing Partner for Older People's Services, Dr Helen Carter Clinical Psychologist DPT, Dr Alok Rana DPT, Tammy Jones DPT (holding the award), Natalie Portwine Senior Mental Health Practitioner DPT, Ann Redmayne South Devon and Torbay CCG, Dr David Somerfied Co-Medical Director DPT, Ian Sherriff Academic Partnership Lead for Dementia Plymouth University