Ensuring Dementia Care Works For All

Challenge Partner: Our Healthier South East London STP

More than 25,000 older black and minority ethnic (BME) people live with dementia in the UK.

Whilst people from BME backgrounds are no less likely to be referred to Memory Assessment Services than the white British population, there is some evidence that people of Black African and Caribbean heritage in particular may develop dementia at an earlier age, and when they develop dementia they may be referred at a later stage of their illness - indicating that there are barriers to engaging with dementia services.

Feedback from people with dementia and their carers suggests this could be because some services are not sufficiently person-centred, or they lack access to culturally appropriate resources. For example, reminiscence resources that reflect the culture and history of the community the person comes from (reminiscence therapy uses items from the past to trigger long term memories).

The Our Healthier South East London STP Dementia Services Challenge is calling for startups and SMEs to develop solutions to improve dementia treatment and support services for underrepresented communities. In particular it is looking for ways to create more personalised reminiscence resources and services that reflect local BME community history and culture.

Do you have an innovative solution for more inclusive dementia services? 

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Our Healthier South East London STP

Our Healthier South East London STP is a collaboration of NHS organisations that have come together with local councils to improve services and the health of the local population.

“We hope that by working with people from some of our local BME populations to develop resources that include local culture and history, we can help carers of people with dementia and our services to provide person centred support which takes into account the person’s story, their culture and history. We also hope that the work may improve awareness of dementia in local BME populations which in turn may improve people being able to access help at an earlier stage in the future.”  

Dr Daniel Harwood, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.