Dementia centre could be added to Fareham hospital

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MAJOR efforts are under way to increase services at a community hospital, including having a dementia centre on site.

The GPs who plan and allocate money to most of the health services in Fareham and Gosport want to see Fareham Community Hospital in Brook Lane, Sarisbury, used a lot more.

They want to do this by extending services at the site, and one suggestion is to have a dementia-friendly centre.

A workshop has been held with voluntary groups to try to attract more health and wellbeing organisations to the site.

The Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working with a number of organisations, including League of Friends, the mental health charity Mind, Hampshire County Council and the Alzheimer’s Society to attract additional services – particularly for patients with dementia.

Lisa Medway, the CCG’s project manager, said: ‘Following the success of the first workshop, we are planning to hold a number of others so we can get ideas from a range of groups and partners.

‘One idea suggested has been to make the hospital a dementia-friendly centre and we are interested in exploring it.

‘As part of this, we need to find out more about what might be involved, and what other NHS organisations with staff working at the site would need to do.’

The CCG said that Hampshire has around 18,500 people living with dementia – a figure which may double by 2030 as people live longer.

The idea has been welcomed by Fareham MP Mark Hoban.

He said: ‘The community hospital is grossly underused, and it’s a real shame that it isn’t being used to its full potential.

‘There are about 1,400 people in Fareham with dementia, and the more you can help with community services, the more you can help people stay in their own homes.’

It is also being supported by the Alzheimer’s Society.

Chris Wyatt, regional operations manager for the south east, said: ‘Specialist dementia wards with specialist staff and dementia-friendly environments can help improve the stay of a person with the condition.’

Last year Fareham became the first dementia-friendly town in the county, with shop staff trained to help people in distress.