A specialist welfare advice and advocacy service for people with early onset dementia
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A specialist welfare advice and advocacy service for people with early onset dementia

Nicola Louise Wheeler Assistant clinical and research psychologist, Birmingham Working Age Dementia Service (now known as the Rare Dementia Service), Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Joanne Louise Allen Consultant clinical psychologist, Birmingham Working Age Dementia Service (now known as the Rare Dementia Service), Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Peter Bentham Consultant psychiatrist, Birmingham Working Age Dementia Service (now known as the Rare Dementia Service), Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Emma Cook Head of operations, Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau
Yvonne Davies Chief executive, Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau
Paul McDonald Research and development manager, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, UK

Nicola Louise Wheeler and colleagues outline the success of a joint initiative to support the increasing number of people with this condition

Background UK prevalence of early onset dementia is increasing. Previous research has highlighted significant social welfare and wellbeing concerns for this group.

Method A partnership between Birmingham Working Age Dementia Service and Citizens Advice Bureau was funded for a year by Birmingham City Council. Questionnaires and supplementary interviews with service users and carers revealed the combined service’s impact on them, and a focus group sought staff opinions.

Results The impact of this service was substantial – 178 people were helped/supported and financial gains in excess of £196,210.00 (over 12 months) secured. Feedback was positive.

Conclusions Recovery-focused healthcare services should address service users’, and their families’/carers’, social welfare concerns, actively providing them with specialist information and support. This project successfully supported people with early-onset dementia and their families.

Mental Health Practice. 18, 10,20-26. doi: 10.7748/mhp.18.10.20.e948

Correspondence

joanne.allen@bsmhft.nhs.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 02 November 2013

Accepted: 11 June 2014