Monthly Archives - September 2012

Care Fit for VIPS


  • Care Fit for VIPS
  • Care Homes
  • Coventry
  • Dawn Brooker
  • Dementia Challengers
  • DementiaChallengers
  • Health
  • Residential Care
  • Social Care
  • Social Care Practitioners
  • Warwickshire

Care Fit for VIPS is a free, online development toolkit for managers of care homes.

Built on the VIPS Framework developed by Professor Dawn Brooker at the University of Worcester’s Association for Dementia Studies, it gives care homes the tools to develop person centred care for people with dementia. We were originally commissioned to provide a paper-based toolkit, but with the support of care home managers, family carers, Care Quality Commission, the commissioner and others, it evolved into an online toolkit, which was able to guide people confidently to the wealth of online resources, while sorting the wheat from the chaff.

There are three elements to the toolkit:

A self-assessment tool

This enables users to think about and review how person-centred their care is currently:

A resource directory

This links to free and paid-for resources online from across the world:

An online improvement cycle

This aims to give care homes a way of planning, recording and following through on their improvements:

Each tool has been welcomed by care homes, and we’re also delighted that people are finding it user-friendly and easy to access.   Here are some comments from Care Home Managers:

‘Will make information searching so much easier – Thank You!’

‘Lost track of time and spent all afternoon using it!’

‘Very easy to understand’.


This autumn and winter, we’re putting on briefing sessions around the region for care homes – including around 25 half-day sessions for those in Coventry and Warwickshire – to encourage even more homes to discover how easy and exciting it can be to move towards person-centred care.

To book a place on the care home briefing sessions call:

Coventry: Lynn Bassett (02476 785358)

Warwickshire: David Williams (01926 746950)

You can follow Care Fit for VIPS on Twitter

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Tony Robinson Introduces the Alzheimer’s Society Early Diagnosis Pilot


  • Alzheimer's Society
  • Alzheimers
  • Call to arms
  • Coventry
  • Dementia
  • Dementia Challengers
  • gp surgeries
  • health and wellbeing
  • primary care trusts
  • Warwickshire

Following on from our last post on tools for improving Dementia Diagnosis rates, Tony Robinson, a member of the Dementia Delivery Strategy Board, talks about a new early diagnosis pilot from the Alzheimer’s Society:

The Alzheimer’s Society Campaign and Media group, of which I am a member, have been one of two groups chosen nationally to undertake an eight month-long pilot project aimed at improving diagnosis rates for dementia.  It is almost certain that Warwickshire will be one chosen area for this pilot but given the close ties, on many levels, with Coventry, the likelihood is that both areas will be considered as a whole.

Current estimations of people with dementia in the two areas tell two very different stories.  Presently, Warwickshire has twice as many people diagnosed with dementia as Coventry. The estimated rate of increase for cases of dementia over the next ten years for Warwickshire is 37% compared with only 19% for Coventry.  Current levels of diagnosis are 39% for Warwickshire and 43% for Coventry.

First, we wish to obtain the support of all stakeholders, including MPs and Councillors at all levels of local government.  We also wish to consult with members of the Primary Care Trusts and Health and Wellbeing Boards.  We believe the Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNA) could play a part in gathering data from this exercise.  Key to success will be discussions with GPs and Memory Clinics to find out where there are problems and look at innovative ways of solving them.

Much of the initial work will be concentrated on getting the leaflet “Worried about your Memory” to as many households as possible by whatever means we can, with magazines and newsletters, and backed by media coverage.  The Guideposts Trust has already promised to deliver around 5000 copies with their newsletter to carers.  The leaflet is also freely available in GP surgeries and we will send it to pharmacies, dentists, opticians and libraries as well.  We make no apologies for people receiving more than one copy.

We would like to visit area forums and social groups to reinforce the message.  We believe the public has a vital role to play, if they are told how to recognise possible symptoms such as short term memory loss, and to act with discretion in persuading family members, friends, etc to have a memory check.  We do not want to encourage “dementia vigilantes”, rather Good Samaritans.  Too many people have “walked by” in the past.

We want to achieve an improvement, but this may not be apparent immediately after the 8 month period.  It is essential that we follow up this work, even without the funding.  Otherwise we may create a blip followed by a decrease in diagnosis rates.  Any improvement must be maintained and built on.

All our data gathered so far has been done by trawling the internet.  Any piece of information, particularly on minority social groups, would be helpful. If you have information to share, please contact Phili Milton, co-ordinator for the project, her email is phili.milton@alzheimers.org.uk and Telephone: 01926 888899.

About Tony Robinson

Not to be confused with the Tony Robinson of Baldric-fame, though both have similar experiences of caring for someone who was living with dementia.

Tony lives in Nuneaton and took early retirement in 1999 to look after his wife, Isobel, who was suffering from depression at the time, but was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  Isobel went into residential care in 2010 and died in July last year, which left Tony with a big void to fill.

Tony had already come to the attention of Warwickshire County Council, through his work on The Carers Partnership, amongst other things, and has also been able to devote more time to doing work for The Alzheimer’s Society.

Tony describes himself as currently playing “catch up” for the last 12 years that he spent supporting his wife and now enjoys international travel (having been to Russia and South Africa in the last year), walking, most major sports, and attending concerts at Birmingham Symphony Hall.  Equally important to Tony has been rebuilding a circle of friends.  Tony maintains that ‘when you are are involved with supporting someone with dementia, you really find out who your true friends are.

Further Reading

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