A dementia friendly future

Cormac Tobin, Managing Director at Celesio UK

Last year Celesio UK committed to being a corporate partner of the Dementia Friends initiative, and I was incredibly proud to witness an unprecedented number of my colleagues volunteering to learn more about how they can make a difference to the lives of those affected by dementia.

Due to the desire to support people living with dementia, as a company we are delighted to be partnering with Alzheimer’s Society, the charity behind the Dementia Friends movement, to find new ways of enhancing the quality of life of those affected by the condition in their community.

In October last year, Simon Stevens, the chief executive of the NHS in England, delivered the Five Year Forward View, highlighting how the NHS needs to change in order to meet healthcare needs now and in the future.

The Five Year Forward View states that early diagnosis of dementia, and offering consistent support for patients diagnosed, is an ambition of the NHS for the next five years; care plans will be created alongside those patients living with dementia as well as their families, and personalised budgets so resources can be tailored specifically for each patient’s needs will be produced. The Five Year Forward View also reiterates care services, communities and businesses working together to create Dementia Friendly Communities.

My colleagues and I feel passionately about supporting our communities. Our partnership with Alzheimer’s Society fits entirely with our belief in inspiring positive lives, reflecting the care and respect we show to our customers and patients every day.

Within the Five Year Forward View, Simon Stevens supports pharmacies and online resources playing a larger role in dealing with common ailments and he also recognises the enhanced role pharmacy can play in the future of the NHS. I believe community pharmacy can also play a role in creating a dementia friendly health environment.

Pharmacy teams interact with their community on a daily basis, engaging with patients and customers who are living with a number of different conditions, including dementia. The teams can experience first-hand the symptoms of dementia and the effect the disease can have on people; patients as well as their families and carers.

There are already many services within LloydsPharmacy that could potentially help someone living with dementia, including MyMeds, a blister packet that contains all of a patient’s pills and information on what time and day they should be taken. The repeat prescriptions service also takes away the responsibility of trying to remember when you need to collect your prescription as the pharmacy will already be aware of when the prescription will need to be refilled, and in some circumstances can also offer a delivery service to those patients which require it.

Celesio UK is a big advocate of Dementia Friends, hoping to change the way people think, talk and act about dementia. Moving forward I want to make LloydsPharmacy a completely dementia friendly environment by creating intimate pharmacy services tailored to the needs of our patients. I believe community pharmacy is ideally placed to lead the way in creating dementia friendly environments; supporting patients, their families and their carers.