Pharmacies across Greater Manchester will become more dementia-friendly thanks to a new scheme developed by the Greater Manchester Pharmacy Local Professional Network and launched by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership this week.
Over 850,000 people (and rising) in the UK have dementia (with almost 30,000 in Greater Manchester). While there is no cure of the progressive disease, the symptoms will get worse over time. Alzheimer’s Society recently reported that dementia costs the UK over £26 billion a year (just under £968 million for Greater Manchester).
The new framework launched this week to ensure the needs of dementia sufferers are met, clearly sets out the various ways in which local pharmacies and their teams can give greater support to people with dementia.
Measures in place include ensuring adequate dementia awareness training is provided to pharmacy staff, a quiet area for discussion, helping a dementia patient with medicines or prescriptions and ensuring the pharmacy has local support readily available.
Dr Jane Brown, Chair of the Pharmacy Local Professional Network, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said:
“We have more than 700 community pharmacies in Greater Manchester. We are launching the framework in Bolton this week and will work with other localities over the coming months to reach our target of at least 40% of community pharmacies signed up to this framework by 2016/2017.
Adding to this, Aneet Kapoor, Chair of Community Pharmacy Greater Manchester, said:
Our teams often have more contact with patients and the local community than any other healthcare professional. We are proudly supporting the Dementia Friends initiative by creating a community of Dementia Friends within community pharmacies across Greater Manchester. Pharmacy colleagues will receive training in order to better support those living with dementia, and their carers”.
George McNamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
“7 in 10 people with dementia live with one or more co-morbidities. This means they often have a number of medicines to manage at the same time. This can be challenging for both the person with dementia and their carer.
“It is important that pharmacies, along with other high street health and wellbeing service providers such as opticians and dentists, are equipped to support the needs of people affected by dementia and take on the role as a community hub. The launch of this dementia-friendly pharmacies framework in Greater Manchester is a step towards this vision”.