Helping primary care to support people with dementia

Dementia Friendly GP Practices

April 30 2015

The idea of a dementia friendly practice comes from the Alzheimer’s society work around developing dementia friendly communities and dementia friends. and

For a GP practice it formalizes what we already strive to achieve:

Staff are trained to understand and support patients with dementia and their carers in an environment that is supportive and easy to navigate

Patients are encouraged and educated to avoid dementia, those with dementia are identified appropriately and supported at all stages.

There are many resources that can enhance services for patients but also support the practice in this challenge.

Working towards becoming ‘dementia friendly’ has several steps that will help the whole practice culture and environment develop to support patients with dementia and their carers.

1. National sign up to the Dementia Action Alliance – through Hampshire Dementia Action Alliance

Organisations wishing to join the Hampshire Dementia Action Alliance complete an Action Plan, their one compulsory action being commitment to making staff, especially customer facing staff, dementia aware (through training or awareness sessions). Further actions can be added and will vary according to what each member feels they can best do to become more Dementia Friendly. In addition, members commit to 1 person from their organisation attending 1 meeting per year. Meetings are arranged regularly and at various locations throughout the county.

Fill in a DAA blank Action Plan

Ideas for ‘Actions’ Suggested DFP Action Plans

For more information or if you would like to join the Alliance and help make Hampshire a Dementia Friendly Community, please contact Debbie Morshead, Project Manager

Email:  Phone: 07827 318017 Website:

2. Increase dementia awareness among staff through training. 

There are many resources for training available. The Alzheimer’s society offers free dementia awareness sessions that can be arranged in-house for all staff. (Contact Debbie Morshead – details above)

Documents can be downloaded or ordered from the Alzheimer’s society for ‘customer facing staff’ and also information booklets for GPs. 

Online learning modules and resources available from a range of sources are listed here Dementia educational resources

3. Know how to refer and support patients with memory concerns or existing dementia. 

Leaflets such as those from Alzheimer’s society publications can be useful to offer patients

The GP OPMH referral form – Southern Health can be used to refer patients for memory assessment

Dementia Advisers can offer support and signposting at all stages of dementia diagnosis, patients can self refer or there is a referral form. Dementia Contact list 2015 DEMENTIA ADVICE REFFERAL FORM

Signposting patients to the Dementia Roadmap can help them access local support and further information.

Summarizing this information for patients into a contact card has been useful in some practices Dementia Helpful Contacts Card

Creating a more comprehensive QOF dementia review can help identify problems and signpost to support Dementia review suggestions

Examples of templates are available, please use the contact details included for the surgeries that developed these to learn more about how they can help EMIS template SystmOne template Vision template

4. Further steps

Considering tools to look at the practice environment Kings Fund – Dementia Friendly Tool or working through tools such as AHSN iSPACE or 10 steps for improving dementia care in primary care


Dr Verity Turner, GP Quality Improvement Fellow, Wessex Deanery. 2014/15

With thanks to; Dr Katrina Webster; West Hampshire Clinical Director for Mental Health, Jason Hope; Senior Commissioning Manager, Dr Marion Lynch, Director of Quality Improvement Fellowship Programmes/Thames Valley and Wessex Leadership Academy. Dr Nigel Watson and The Arnewood Practice – New Milton, Dr Simon Goodison, Angela Felton and Blackthorn Health Centre – Hamble, Dr Samuel Gee and The Fryern Surgery – Chandler’s Ford.

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