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Dementia is associated with a loss of general cognitive ability. There are many subtypes of this illness, with the most common being Alzheimer’s disease. Although the prevalence of dementia increases with increasing age, dementia is not a normal part of aging. Nationally there have been several key policies aimed at increasing the number of people diagnosed with dementia as estimates suggest that nationally just over half the people with dementia have been diagnosed with the condition.

Dementia has a significant impact on the person and their support network, the mental and physical wellbeing of their family and carers is equally as important.


Local Picture

In February 2015, the dementia calculator dataset (which is no longer in use) estimated that there are 2087 people with dementia. Of these 1146 are predicted to have mild dementia, 679 moderate dementia, and 263 severe dementia. Every week, two people are diagnosed with dementia via the memory assessment service in Bedford Borough. Overall, under the age of 75, dementia mainly affects males, while over the age of 75 females are most affected.

Table 1: Estimated Dementia diagnosis rate



NHS England Dataset (Data received from Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group on 16th November 2016)

Table 1 shows the estimated dementia diagnosis rate, the rate at the end of October reported at 67.7% nationally and for Bedfordshire over 65’s at 60.2%.

Table 2: People aged 65 and over predicted to have dementia, by age and gender, projected to 2030



Source: http://www.poppi.org.uk(accessed on 28th October 2016)

Table 2 shows the prevalence rates have been applied to ONS population projections of the 65 and over population to give estimated numbers of people predicted to have dementia to 2030 in Bedford Borough, the number of males predicted to have dementia over 65 shows from 2014-2030, shows an increase of an additional 606 people and for females in the same period shows an increase of 758 people. 


National & Local Strategies (Current best practices)


Following the recommendations from the Health Needs Assessment, in the summer of 2016, Central Bedfordshire Council coordinated a competitive tender process between Bedford Borough Council and Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) for support services for people living with dementia and their carers.

The three organisations will be working together to commission a range of services to help people living with dementia and their carers understand the condition and maintain their wellbeing. The aim was that the services and the organisations that run them would work together to give people across Bedfordshire affected by dementia a range of services that would meet their needs along all stages of a dementia journey, and would fit together with care and support offered by the local authorities and East London Foundation Trust (ELFT

The new contract will commence from 1st December 2016. Some of these services are already in existence; some are new or significantly changed and will not necessarily start immediately on 1st December 2016.

Please note that the services listed below are not necessarily the only services delivered by the organisations cited. Please check the websites of the organisations or contact them for full details – see below.

1. Carers in Bedfordshire: http://www.carersinbeds.org.uk/; 0300 111 1919; contact@carersinbeds.org.uk

2. Tibbs Dementia Foundation: http://www.tibbsdementia.co.uk/; 07795 177948; contact@tibbsdementia.co.uk

3. Alzheimer’s Society Bedfordshire and Luton: 01234 327380; bedfordshireandluton@alzheimers.org.uk

Further developments and updates will be available on the Carers in Bedfordshire website, www.carersinbeds.org.uk


Bedford Borough Council Specific services:

1. From Tibbs Dementia Foundation (07795 177948; contact@tibbsdementia.co.uk; www.tibbsdementia.co.uk)

For people with dementia and/or Family Carers and Supporters

1. Support 4 Memory (ongoing service)


This six-week free service is designed to support people with mild dementia (or significant cognitive impairment) with a relatively recent diagnosis or with concerns about their memory. Family carers, friends, or supporters are welcome to attend sessions – with or without their person with memory concerns. Session content includes understanding memory loss; communication; forward planning and building networks of support and information. Support 4 Memory is held at Dame Alice Court.

2. Understanding Dementia (new service)

This service will involve a programme of workshops on key themes of concern or interest to family carers and people living with dementia, including legal matters, medication, management of symptoms, and young people with dementia. Workshops will be delivered by specialists including a solicitor, solicitor or dementia specialist nurse.

Specifically for people with dementia

1. Clear Voices 1 and 2 (ongoing service)

Weekly groups for people with dementia (or significant cognitive impairment) to meet with others in a similar situation, without family carers, in a supported, welcoming, understanding and a small group environment. For people living with dementia who are able to comfortably engage in a group setting without their carer for an hour and a half each week the sessions provide an important opportunity for people to find a means of expression – to talk through concerns and challenges. Anxieties and achievements - and support each other to find a clear voice.

2. Clear Voices 1 – for people with mild to mid-stage dementia

3. Clear Voices 2 – for people with mid to later-stage dementia

4. Cognitive Stimulation Group (new service)

A structured twelve week service for people with a recent diagnosis, who have a good level of verbal communication.

5. Activi-tea (ongoing service)

A weekly group for people in the moderate to severe stages of dementia, offering a stimulating environment but at a slower pace.

For family carers and supporters

1. Encompass 1 and 2 (ongoing service)

Support groups for family carers and friends to learn about and explore some of the practical and emotional impacts of dementia on their lives, the unique losses associated with closely supporting someone with dementia (or significant cognitive impairment).

Encompass 1 and 2 offer a forum for carers to meet others in similar situations - to share, offload and draw upon experiences to support each other - in an understanding, confidential, small group setting.

Encompass 1 – for carers of someone with mild to mid-stage dementia. Music 4 Memory 3 (for people with dementia and/or their carers) runs at the same time in the same building.

Encompass 2 – for carers of someone with mid to later-stage dementia. Activi-Tea service (for people with dementia) runs at the same time in the same building. A 1-2-1 Counselling Drop-In service (for family carers & supporters) runs at the same time in the same building.

Details on the wide range of additional services delivered by Tibbs Dementia Foundation including Music 4 Memory, Walking Football, Swimming, bowls and the Moving On group for former carers of a person with dementia, can be found on the Tibbs Dementia website.

This Chapter is only an overview, to access the full report please click here BB Dementia HNA 090316 FINAL.pdf


What is this telling us?

Following the completion of the Health Needs Assessment in March 2015, the recommendations presented include the views of people with dementia, their carers, past carers, and stakeholders. Figure 1 illustrates the key areas where recommendations have been made from the health needs assessment.

This figure has been designed specifically for dementia in Bedfordshire. At the centre of the model is the person with dementia, the immediate factors such as age, sex, and genetics are out of their control but will influence an individual’s risk of dementia. Moving from the inner rings to the outer rings the recommendations shift from focusing on the individual person and factors within their control such as behavioural risk factors to overarching recommendations to support dementia friendly communities.

Figure 1: Person-centred recommendations in Bedfordshire 2015


1. Information, support and training is needed throughout the dementia pathway, providing a single point of contact early in the patient journey would be beneficial.

2. Services for people with dementia and their carers should utilise a person centred care approach to ensure the support provided is tailored to the individual’s needs.

3. Bedford Borough Council and Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group can be a catalyst for dementia friendly communities. This could include:

  • Increasing awareness of preventive measures e.g. linking dementia to existing key public health campaigns and services.
  • Increasing awareness of dementia across public services and with private organisations.

4. These recommendations should be reviewed in twelve months.


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