Merton’s new Dementia Hub in Mitcham was officially opened by special guest Angela Rippon OBE and Mayor of Merton, Councillor Agatha Akyigyina yesterday (18 June 2014).
The opening event was attended by clinical staff, people with dementia and their carers, providers of the service as well as Merton councillors.
The innovative new Hub is accessible to Merton residents who have been diagnosed with dementia. The services provided are delivered through a partnership of Merton Council, Alzheimer’s Society, South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust, Merton Clinical Commissioning Group and other voluntary and charity organisations.
The new Hub features colour themed consulting rooms, a café and a health suite for dentistry or podiatry. It also includes a large garden with a courtyard where there is a sensory garden and a water feature.
Formerly the Cumberland Day Centre, the Hub was remodelled with funding from the Department of Health’s ‘Dementia Friendly Environments’ – programme and Merton Council. The design has incorporated a lot of the learning from the King’s Fund’s ‘Enhanced Healing Environments’ project.
The partnership is resulting in a more comprehensive menu of options for Merton residents who need support around dementia, and at an earlier stage of their illness.
Merton’s Dementia Action Alliance has also officially launched. The alliance is a group of 12 local organisations who have joined forces to make Merton a more dementia friendly borough. Some of the ways they will do this is by training up Dementia Champions and providing awareness training for their staff. Other organisations have shown interest in joining the alliance and there will be an on-going recruitment drive to increase the alliance’s membership.
Merton Council’s cabinet member for adult social care and health, Councillor Caroline Cooper-Marbiah said: “The Dementia Hub will provide quality services for residents with specific needs. It is a great example of different organisations working together. It also meets our Health and Wellbeing Strategy pledge to make the borough more dementia friendly. At some point in our lifetime, most of us will know somebody with dementia and it could even be us who needs this help. This is why making everyone dementia aware is so important.”
Karen McCrudden, Alzheimer’s Society Operations Manager for West London said: “The Merton Dementia Hub, along with the integrated approach that has been adopted there, will enable Alzheimer’s Society to deliver more dementia support, information and services to people in Merton than ever before, making a huge difference to the lives of local people affected by the condition. The centre will also be a hub for the local Dementia Action Alliance, as we work to make Merton a dementia friendly community. With over 1,800 people currently living with dementia in Merton, there is clearly a vital need for this resource. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Merton Council and South West London and St. George’s Health Trust to ensure that as many people as possible have access to the support they need in order to live well with dementia.”
David Bradley, South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to work with our partners the Alzheimer’s Society, Merton Clinical Commissioning Group and the London Borough of Merton on this innovative and vitally-needed facility.The Hub will be welcomed by service users and their families and carers in the borough and offer real care and support where it is needed.”
Notes to editor
- The King’s Fund is a charity working to improve health and health care in England. The Department of Health commissioned the charity to develop a programme to improve the care environment for people with dementia. For more info visit http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/projects/enhancing-healing-environment/ehe-in-dementia-care
- Members of Merton Dementia Action Alliance are: Merton Council, Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Allied Healthcare Group, Home Instead, JobCentrePlus, Kingston Hospital NHS Trust, Merton Chamber of Commerce, Merton Clinical Commissioning Group, Skills for Care, St George’s Hospital and TWM Solicitors LLP