Safest People, Safest Places

UK-first for Durham as emergency services join forces

alzheimers society

Emergency services in Durham will become the first in the UK to join forces in a unique collaboration to improve the lives of people with dementia.

On Monday 31 July, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, Durham Police and North East Ambulance Service came together to sign a document pledging support for the new initiative.

The Strategic Commitment on Dementia will see all three services backing a series of measures including…

  • Working towards becoming dementia friendly employers with suitable employment policies and procedures in place support colleagues who become carers or those who themselves develop dementia.
  • Ensuring staff have the necessary awareness, skills and understanding to recognise and support people living with dementia before, during and after an emergency incident.
  • Working with local partners to maintain and improve the general safety of people living with dementia, their families and carers.
  • Supporting Alzheimer’s Society in its quest to develop more dementia-friendly communities and Dementia Friends in line with the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia and the subsequent duty on all public services.

In attendance at the signing will be Colin Bage, Deputy Chief Fire Officer at CCDFRS, Yvonne Ormston, Chief Executive Office at NEAS and Rachel Stockdale, Crime and Harm Reduction Unit Inspector at Durham Police.

Andrew Ball, Senior Dementia Friendly Communities Officer for Alzheimer’s Society, said: “The Emergency Services play a vital part in keeping people living with dementia safe in their own community. 

“By signing this document they are showing their commitment to ensuring staff have the necessary knowledge and understanding to support people living with dementia and prevent emergency situations happening. 

“I am so proud of this partnership work. The fact that each emergency service in County Durham has committed to this document can only strengthen that relationship.”

Mark Henderson, Vulnerable Persons Advocate for CDDFRS, said: “These commitments will improve our services and care for people living with dementia.

“Our policies and procedures, practices, training and the application of all that we do will require regular updates and assessment to ensure we keep pace with developments in the fight against this disease.

“To this end, we will commit to working closely with recognised experts in organisations such as Alzheimer’s Society to seek best practice for the practical application of this pledge.

“And we will invite robust review as we continually challenge ourselves; and our organisations to improve our services in the communities we serve.”

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