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Study urges focus on dementia care

A report focusing on dementia care in West Sussex claims training is essential for nurses and social care staff.

The document has been drawn up by a West Sussex County Council taskforce, and also recommends dementia services should be made a priority by both health and social care departments throughout the county.

It estimates that nearly 13,600 people in West Sussex have dementia, and of these more than 12,400 are aged over 65.

Experts believe this figure will only increase due to the rise in the number of elderly people projected nationally.

The report, which is pushing for greater cooperation between different agencies, is available at libraries throughout the county.

Taskforce chairman Nola Hendon said: "The report has generated a great deal of interest and as a response to that we have decided to make it available for everyone through their local library.

"Our work as a taskforce is set to continue into a second phase early next year, when we will be looking to develop our findings further."

Deputy county council leader Mike Coleman, who has responsibility for West Sussex Libraries and is the county council spokesman for health, welcomed the move.

He said: "The county's wide network of libraries means that every West Sussex resident will be able to easily access a copy of this valuable report."

West Sussex County Council

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Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"Yes as it would give nurses a better understanding and therefore improve care for this client group" - Name and address supplied

"Education for nurses and support for carers should be a priority. As a former practice nurse I watched carers patiently struggling and didn't know what to offer in the way of help. They are often elderly themselves and desrve more support" - Jackie Burns Manchester

"Since nurses qualifying now and in the future will be working with an increasing number of older people it is likely that they will also be working with ever greater numbers of people with dementia. Anyone who has looked at a nursing journal in the last year will know that nurses in all situations are working with people with dementia. It is therefore becoming more important that nurses in all areas are equipped with the skills to work effectively with this client group. The ideal way to achieve that is to make dementia care training a core training need for all nurses" - David Small, dementia Liaison Nurse, East Lothian

"Yes, as diagnosis would be made earlier" - Name and address supplied

"Yes, I agree it should be included in nursing care" - Cheryl Hall, Norton