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New dementia hub run by UHMBT and partners to be launched in Barrow

15 May 2019

Dianne Smith (left) with colleagues

People living with dementia in Barrow and surrounding areas will benefit from a new service run by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundations Trust (UHMBT) and partner organisations.

The ‘Barrow and District Dementia Hub’ at The Living Well Centre on Duke Street will be launched at 1pm on Wednesday, May 22. It’s for anyone affected by dementia and will offer support and advice in a friendly and relaxed environment.

People with dementia, carers, family members, friends and everyone with an interest in the condition can pop along on the fourth Wednesday of every month from 1pm to 3pm.

The Barrow hub will give people in the local community an opportunity to meet professionals from organisations including the NHS Memory Clinic, Alzheimer’s Society, Integrated Care Communities (ICC), Age UK South Lakeland, Furness Carers, Dignity in Dementia, Barrow Blind Society, Barrow Fire Service, independent care providers and many more.

Dianne Smith, Matron for Professional Standards in Dementia for UHMBT, said: “The Barrow and District Dementia Hub will be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for information and support.

Dianne Smith

“People often don’t know where to go for support in their local community and that’s where the hub can help.

“The hub will be easily accessible as it’s in the middle of town and you don’t need to make an appointment; just turn up.

“People will be able to as professionals about any aspect of managing care for someone with dementia. They can ask for advice about getting a diagnosis and where to find services.”

There are already two dementia hubs which UHMBT supports – the South Lakes Dementia Hub based in Kendal and the Bay Dementia Hub based in the Lancaster and Morecambe area.

Dianne and her colleague, Dr Penny Foulds from Lancaster University, were instrumental in setting up the first dementia hubs.

Dr Foulds also does research into Alzheimer’s disease and some people who have attended the hubs have joined clinical trials looking at treatments and possible cures.

Dr Penny Foulds

There will be an opportunity to find out more about clinical trials at the Barrow hub if anyone is interested in joining a study. Research trials can be extremely beneficial to patients as well as bringing about advances in care and treatment.

Marina Woodburn, a Care of the Elderly Nurse from Barrow, will also be at the launch of the new dementia hub in Barrow.

Dianne said: “There will be an area in the hub where people can sit and chat with other people in a similar position to them. What’s nice is that people often end up supporting each other.

“For people living with dementia, it can be an enjoyable afternoon out. We will have a ‘Welcome Team’ to meet and assist everyone who comes along. The members of the Welcome Team will be there to support people and advise them on who they could speak to for support.

“Our other dementia hubs have been very successful. The hubs have made a real difference to people affected by dementia. Many people have come back again and again for support.

“One couple has been coming for two years. One has dementia and the other is their carer. They have said it’s the only thing that gives them a feeling of positivity because they meet people in the same boat as them. They are not alone.”

The Barrow hub will be run by the Barrow Integrated Care Community (a group of local healthcare organisations including GP surgeries and District Nurses) and led by Maxine Baron from UHMBT and her team.

Dianne with national dementia awareness campaigner, Tommy Whitelaw

Dianne added: “People have said they are so grateful to have someone to listen to them and to try to make sense of the struggle they are having.

“I work in Barrow and people there are so helpful and supportive. I am hoping that the new Barrow hub will thrive.”

Volunteers are needed to serve refreshments and help in other ways at the Barrow hub. If anyone is interested in volunteering they can get in touch on the phone number or email address below.

Over the next few months the Barrow hub will meet on the following dates: May 22, June 26, July 24, August 28 and September 25.

Dianne will give a talk about dementia care and treatment at 6pm at The Forum on Duke Street in Barrow on Monday, 10 June. All are welcome to attend this public talk. To book a place at the talk, please go to this link: http://ow.ly/rTM030okcGS

For more information on the Barrow and District Dementia Hub, please call: 07779 436 546 or email barrowcaresaboutdementia@gmail.com or go to the Facebook page by searching ‘Barrow Dementia Hub’.