Project aims to make York dementia friendly

Project aims to make York dementia friendly

Siân Balsom, manager of Healthwatch York
Siân Balsom, manager of Healthwatch York

A HEALTH watchdog is set to investigate how York can be improved for people living with dementia.
Healthwatch York has received funding from Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) in order to carry out a two-year project with the aim of taking York closer to being the first dementia-friendly city in the UK.
The organisation will make clear recommendations on what the city needs to do to better support people living with dementia and their carers.
The report will be presented to key city organisations with practical ideas on how policy and service delivery could change to improve people’s lives.
Siân Balsom, Healthwatch York manager, said: “The project will be grounded in the experiences of people living with dementia, their carers and the organisations who are supporting them.
She added: “It will outline the necessary changes that will allow everyone in York to work effectively together to meet the challenges of being a dementia friendly city.”
She said Healthwatch hoped to replicate the success of its report into access to services for deaf people which saw a number of its recommendations implemented and positive changes made.
Katherine Blaker, community development manager at Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said people living with dementia had reported different experiences in terms of the speed of their diagnosis and the support available. She said: “This piece of work by Healthwatch York will, over the next two years, systematically collate the experiences of people living with dementia across the city and seek out solutions from responsible agencies to improve the support for every one of us who may be affected by dementia now or in the future.”
The funding for the project which amounts to just over £20,000, was announced during Dementia Awareness Week this week. Organisations and individuals interested in being part of the new project should phone Healthwatch York on 01904 621133 or email


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