New plan to transform dementia care in Surrey

Caring for dementia. Carer sits with elderly lady

A five-point plan sets out to improve the lives of Surrey residents with dementia and their families.

joint health and social care dementia strategy of Surrey County Council and Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership, outlines an ambition for everyone with dementia and their carers to live in dementia-friendly communities and be able to live well at home for as long as possible.

Research suggests that approximately 17,700 people in Surrey are currently living with dementia. Between 2020 and 2030 it’s projected that this figure will rise by more than a quarter to 22,600.

The five-year plan, which includes direct input from people living with dementia and their carers, sets out how the county council and the wider Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership, that includes the Surrey Downs Health and Care Partnership that covers Epsom and Ewell, will work with other organisations to support people with dementia, their families and carers so that those diagnosed can maintain their independence and enjoy a good quality of life.

The new joint health and social care dementia strategy will focus on:

  • Preventing well – raising awareness of dementia and preventative actions people can take
  • Diagnosing well – making sure people have equal access to dementia care by addressing inequalities and gaps
  • Living well – making sure everyone has the opportunity to live life to the full following diagnosis
  • Supporting well – engaging with communities and faith groups to ensure we reach out to people with dementia and their carers

The work will create dementia-friendly communities and help to deliver the county council’s ambition and tackle inequality to ensure no-one is left behind in Surrey.

The strategy has been created in partnership and collaboration with people with dementia and their carers and other organisations, including Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia UK, Healthwatch Surrey and district and borough councils.

Sinead Mooney, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: 

“Dementia is already an important health issue and the number of people living with dementia in Surrey is expected to increase significantly in the future. Our new dementia strategy is crucial in setting out how we will build on the good work we already do, and continue to improve outcomes for residents across Surrey.

“The new strategy has a much wider focus, encouraging organisations and services to become more dementia-friendly and therefore making a real difference to dementia care in Surrey.”

Dr Sophie Norris, GP and Dementia Clinical Lead for Guilford and Waverley, said:

“The strategy sets out the collective ambitions we want to achieve across Surrey to improve the dementia care pathway. In developing this strategy, we have worked with organisations that support people with dementia, their staff, the local voluntary sector and other partners. The strategy provides the chance to reaffirm Surrey’s commitment and determination to help people with dementia, and their unpaid carers to continue caring if they are willing and able, and to support their health and wellbeing by achieving outcomes they have identified matter most to them. The jointly held vision is for all people with dementia and their carers to live in dementia friendly communities. They will know where to go to seek information, advice and help. They will have access to the care and support that enables them to live well at home for as long as possible and to die with dignity in their place of choice.”

An easy read version of the joint health and social care dementia strategy is also available.

To find out more about support for dementia in Surrey visit the Surrey County Council website.