It was one of these events last week that I lost as my iPad died for the duration of the event so I had no detail. So I’m so pleased that yesterday was the first time typing back in real time. The event had a similar programme with simply different speakers as it was in a different part of Leeds.
Tim Sanders, Commissioning Manager, Dementia for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups Partnership & Leeds City Council and arranged all these wonderful Roadshows in and around Leeds to try and make sure were better informed on what was available in the area. But, of course, these events are only as good as the numbers that attend and the speakers that speak, especially the clinical staff.
Anyway, I appeared to be up bright and early, and gave my iPad a quick check to make sure the day before hadn’t all been a dream and was still working…..it was……..
Tim had agreed to meet me at Leeds station. The trains behaved and the blue sky over the Humber was a cheerful site……
And the sheep on the grazing on the banks of the Humber look set for a nice day…
I arrived in Leeds and soon met Tim. We picked up his colleagues and off we went to a venue near Cookridge in Leeds. People were busy setting up and I sat next to a person who suddenly said she was a GP……I then proceeded to talk …..and talk and talk…….she was lovely and willing to listen, asking what she, as a Gp could do to make things easier for someone with dementia…….She was speaking after me…..
The local clinical psychiatrist also came and said hello and was speaking……..good conversations asked……….
The room was very full and people were standing at the back….wonderful to see…….
Tim started off the event and it was me up first……
I said , amongst other things
“I’m not downplaying the enormous struggles we have on a daily basis but what I am saying is there are often solutions that can help and make life easier and calmer.”
After me were the 2 NHS clinicians. First local Gp Dr Kitchen…..she started off by saying how there’s still so much GPS can learn. ………before she attended she spoke to people asking what went right and what went wrong when seeing the Gp ……she went through the different types of dementia and through signs and symptoms…….
She asked Why is it important to get a diagnosis? – to be able to plan for the future while you’re capable to do so.
I’m so glad she said that seeing your Gp is not just about the memory test……..
A nice Gp, willing to learn more and speaking plainly and simply…..…..
The clinical psychiatrist, also a Wendy, spoke next from the Memory clinic. She spoke of the process in the memory. She spoke of a good process, with post diagnostic support, but it was again a couple of appointments. She did say, you can be re referred but basically you’re back in the care of the Gp……..
Wendy also spoke of the 15 minute memory test they do …. I must have had a totally different one as mine were 3 x 2 hourly session of Memory tests……
Someone asked what’s the process for family members when the person themselves refuses to see their Gp. They said all Gp’s would welcome seeing the family members if they’re worried.
Memory support workers were up next…..Bernadette was one of the first to be appointed in the area…..they have been in existence for 4 years and there are 13 of them spanning the city of Leeds. They visit people mostly in their own own home offering advice and support. They can refer into other services, Occupationalsist, social workers. They look at social needs if they’re isolated. They can also work with people who don’t have a diagnosis; going to a Gp appointment with them, to the Memory clinic the first time, if they don’t have family members around.
Post code lottery was starting to infiltrate my thoughts……..
After a much needed cuppa and chats to lots of people, Sally Anne, Deputy Manager and Dementia Lead for older peoples action in the local area (OPAL), was up next…..Sally -Anne spoke of the activities in the local area; how they offer transport for those who find it difficult. The most popular outing being the ‘fish and chips’ outing 😂🤣…wonderful…
She’d brought flyers of all the activities in the next few months…..
Val and Judith then spoke of the Dementia Friendly Community in the area of Horsforth in Leeds. They have a lovely emblem considering the name of their area
Lisa from Carers Leeds was last but one.. I always say how when we get the diagnosis so do the people around us, both parties needing help and support…..They offer benefit advice, Carer support groups, respite, emotional support and the rights of carers – great.
The final speakers were from the local solicitors talking about Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney…….
When they spoke of Lasting Power of Attorney, I always say that they’re not just for people with dementia, they are EVERYONE!! No one knows what’s round the corner…….
A wonderful roadshow, attended by many local people; people with dementia, supporters and many healthcare professionals under one roof. Much could be learnt from the way Tim organises these events to attract the right balance of people. Obviously no area is perfect, everyone can improve, but it sounds like lots of good services and processes in Leeds….I hope this is the reality as well……
So glad to see the Westwood bathed in sunshine when I finally got home early evening…