A new rapid response team has been established by NHS Forth Valley to support patients with dementia. Staffed by four specialist nurses and two community care assistants, it provides support to people in their own homes and, where possible, avoids hospital admissions.
The Dementia Outreach Team (or DOT for short) is based at Stirling Community Hospital but provides a service across Forth Valley for local people with a diagnosis of a dementia and their families.
Around 4,700 people in Forth Valley are estimated to have some form of dementia and this number is set to increase year-on-year with the growing elderly population.
The new team, which can be accessed through local GPs, say they hope to respond within two working days after the initial contact. The outreach nurses will carry out a comprehensive assessment and provide advice, practical assistance and support to patients, family members and carers.
NHS Forth Valley Dementia Outreach Nurse, Alister Edmond, explained: “The team takes a holistic and proactive approach, where they are able to work with the family to avoid what could become a crisis situation and ultimately prevent the patient having to be admitted to hospital.”
Intensive support will be offered initially for 6 weeks and the care and support will then be reviewed. Throughout, DOT will work closely with other local support services including social work and local Enhanced Community Teams.