£51k project to help families caring for dementia patients
More than £50,000 is being spent on a project to help dementia patients and the people who care for them.
Health chiefs are giving £51,000 to two charities to look into the needs of families living with the condition in the Bath area.
The Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working with the Radstock-based Carers' Centre and Age UK B&NES to reduce the number of people with dementia readmitted to hospital.
The aim is to put together a package of support that kicks in when patients with dementia return home.
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B&NES CCG is the new organisation run by local GPs which will be responsible for planning and arranging about £210 million of health services when it takes over responsibilities from primary care trust NHS B&NES next April.
Its clinical director Dr Ruth Grabham said: "Dementia is a key priority for us – up to a third of hospital patients have dementia, and although they are in hospital for other reasons, it can mean they experience confusion and distress.
"This new service offers patients with dementia extra support and will also give their carers the help they need during and after treatment.
"Nationally, patient readmission into hospital after discharge is estimated to cost the NHS up to £150 million each year, so if we can avoid this, we free up funding for other priority health services."
Often people with dementia have to return to hospital because carers feel they can no longer cope, and the Carers' Centre is offering access to carers' breaks, befriending services and counselling to improve emotional wellbeing.