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Delight as Suffolk Dementia Together helpline nationally recognised at HSJ Awards

PUBLISHED: 17:33 02 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:36 03 December 2017

The Dementia Together team picking up the ‘CCG & Local Authority Integrated Commissioning for Carers' award. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The Dementia Together team picking up the ‘CCG & Local Authority Integrated Commissioning for Carers' award. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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A dementia helpline service in Suffolk which is making a “really big difference” to the lives of patients and carers affected by the illness has scooped a national accolade.

The Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards have recognised, celebrated and promoted the finest achievements in the NHS for the last 36 years.

Dementia Together, a service run in partnership by charity Sue Ryder, Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), and Suffolk County Council, beat nominations from across the country to win ‘CCG & Local Authority Integrated Commissioning for Carers’. The award recognises great partnership work in supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of carers.

Launched in April this year, Dementia Together provides a variety of information and help through a free phone number for people living with dementia and those looking after them. The aim is to enable people to get support at the right time to prevent them reaching crisis point.

Jo Marshall, director of The Chantry, a care centre run by Sue Ryder in Ipswich, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won an HSJ award. The large number of referrals we have had and positive feedback from people supported by Dementia Together demonstrate the need for such a service.”

Dr Roz Tandy, a GP and dementia lead for West Suffolk CCG, said: “Since its launch in April, the service has helped more than 600 people and we know the really big difference it has made to the lives of those who are caring for people living with dementia.

“Carers have an important role in the development of Dementia Together, ensuring that the service provides information and expertise in one easily accessible place. It’s certainly pleasing that we have received this national recognition. Everyone involved in establishing and delivering the service should be pleased and proud of this achievement.”

Beccy Hopfensperger, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for adult care, said: “I am so pleased that we have a service in the county that is so successfully protecting our most vulnerable people.”

The HSJ Awards presentation was held in London.

The Dementia Together free phone line is 08081 688 000.

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