Posted: Tuesday 1st May 2018
Hertfordshire’s emergency services have come together to collectively sign Alzheimer’s Society’s dementia pledge, committing themselves to helping tackle the social and economic impact of dementia.
Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Hertfordshire Constabulary and the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust signed the Hertfordshire Emergency Services Strategic Commitment on Dementia, which commits them to:
- Working towards being dementia-friendly employers, supporting colleagues who care for people with dementia or develop dementia themselves
- Ensuring staff have the awareness, skills and understanding to recognise and support people living with dementia
- Improving the safety of people living with dementia
- Supporting the Alzheimer’s Society in their quest to develop more dementia friendly communities
Dementia is now the UK’S biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes.
With more than 14,000 people living with dementia across Hertfordshire, the Emergency Services play a vital role in their safety and wellbeing as well as their carers and family. It is therefore vitally important to understand the effects dementia can have on individuals as well as training and supporting staff around the condition.
Chief Fire Officer Darryl Keen said: “People living with dementia have a higher risk of being involved in a fire, so we want to do everything we can to reduce that risk and help people living with dementia live safe and independent lives. I’m therefore really pleased that the fire service can support Alzheimer’s Society in their work to create dementia-friendly communities in Hertfordshire.”
Assistant Chief Constable Jane Swinburne said: “Signing the dementia pledge shows our commitment to supporting people with dementia so they can live well in the community and do the everyday things we all take for granted. We recognise that the onset of dementia may make some people more vulnerable. As a result we must work with partners to ensure that they are properly protected and ensure that dementia is not a barrier to accessing our services.”
Dave Fountain, Deputy Director of Service Delivery for Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and West Essex, said: “Dementia is one of the greatest challenges facing our ageing society – there are more than 80,000 people in the East of England living with a diagnosis of dementia.
“Our crews routinely work with people living with dementia, and of course we have to make emergency responses in the community to affected families and individuals so in our capacity as an ambulance service and seeing people living with dementia every single day we needed to put it at the centre of our work. Signing this pledge is just another step we’ve taken in our organisation as part of our strategy towards becoming dementia-friendly.”
Sally Marlow, Alzheimer’s Society Operations Manager in Hertfordshire, said: “We are delighted that emergency services across the county have united against dementia and together made a commitment to better support those affected by dementia.
“This year’s Dementia Action Week, 21-27 May, we are calling on everyone to unite and take actions, big or small, to help people living with dementia to feel included in their communities and able to live the lives they want.
“This recent action by our emergency services is a leading example of making change locally.”