How to create a dementia friendly GP surgery
Devon Square wanted to become a more dementia friendly GP surgery. Mike Stewart, Practice Manager and myself, Patient Participation representative, requested a Dementia Walkthrough. Liam McGrath, Alzheimer’s Society, visited on 20th April 2017 with his Dementia Leadership Group. Five very enthusiastic and cheerful people living with dementia who willingly give up their time to complete these Walkthroughs. Things which might challenge a person living with dementia were highlighted. Positives were also noted, feedback always constructive. Support indeed for the Newton Abbot and Teignmouth Dementia Action Alliance.
Report and follow-up
Following feedback from the group a few changes are already in place. Inevitably, however, some things are beyond our control – like parking restrictions.
Changes we have made since the Walkthrough include:
- A new dementia friendly sign for the entrance to the waiting room. It helps to know the way back if you have visited the toilet. A dementia friendly toilet sign had already been installed.
- A contrasting toilet seat for improved visibility.
- Awkward door handle leading from the waiting room to the consulting rooms removed. We now have a simple, contrasting pull handle. Easy to see and use.
- Dementia Friends trained will wear their badges at work. Patients and carers can easily identify them.
The Dementia Leadership group will raise parking issues with the relevant authorities. We hope they are successful.
These changes benefit all our patients, but sometimes familiarity prevents you from recognising issues. We are very grateful to the Dementia Leadership Group for providing this excellent service. Our journey towards being a dementia friendly GP surgery is ongoing.
Teignbridge District Council recently organised a Walkthrough at a local leisure centre. The experience was so positive that two group members joined their local leisure centre.
Could your workplace benefit from a dementia Walkthrough? Any adjustments you make could benefit other groups too. Benefits felt are often far greater than the effort involved.