Welsh Ambulance Service wins national Dementia Friendly Award

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From second left: Alison Johnstone, Leigh Keen and David Thomas from the Welsh Ambulance Service, celebrating their win at the prestigious awards on Thursday the 22nd of November.

Welsh Ambulance Service wins national Dementia Friendly Award

The Welsh Ambulance NHS Trust has won a national Dementia Friendly Award in the Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year – Large category.

The winners were announced at the prestigious awards ceremony hosted by Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador Angela Rippon CBE which took place in London on Thursday the 22nd of November.

From second left: Alison Johnstone, Leigh Keen and David Thomas from the Welsh Ambulance Service, celebrating their win at the prestigious awards on Thursday the 22nd of November.

The Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust was one of three finalists in their category, for which they were also shortlisted in 2016. This award recognises individuals, teams, groups, organisations or services who have successfully developed integrated dementia care, support services, projects or schemes to support people with dementia.

From inviting people with dementia to suggest improvements for their fleet and services to delivering a guide to communication for staff and volunteers, the Welsh Ambulance Service has put people living with dementia at the heart of their services.

The Welsh Ambulance Service is part of a dementia taskforce to improve the lives of people living with the condition.

“If someone has had training and can understand what I’m going through, it takes huge pressure off me,” explains Nigel Hullah, 65, who lives with dementia.

“The people over at the Welsh Ambulance Service didn’t see us – the people with dementia – as a problem to be solved. They engaged with us and gave us a voice and then acted on our recommendations.” Nigel campaigns for the rights of people affected by dementia in his native South Wales.

Alison Johnstone, Programme Manager for Dementia from the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust said:

“We’re so proud and amazed by this achievement. The Welsh Ambulance Service is doing so much to improve the experiences of people living with dementia.

“We’re absolutely on the front line in regards to helping people with dementia access and use emergency services and there are so many more things that we still need to make happen. We have a huge commitment to improve the experience for people in Wales living with dementia.”

Dementia is the 21st century’s biggest killer. Someone develops the condition every three minutes – but too many face it alone. Alzheimer’s Society’s 2018 Dementia Friendly Awards recognise, celebrate and promote the inspirational achievements of those uniting to making a real difference to people living with dementia. Alzheimer’s Society is committed to ensuring the rights of people affected by dementia are recognised and until the day we find a cure, we will be here for anyone affected by dementia.

Sue Phelps, Country Director for Alzheimer’s Society Cymru said:

“This year’s awards celebrate individuals, organisations and communities leading and inspiring a change that will transform the lives of people with dementia forever, challenging misunderstandings, changing attitudes and taking action. It’s fantastic that the Welsh Ambulance Service has won the Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year – Large award and it is a testament to their tremendous dementia-friendly work.

“The level of nominations received this year was truly phenomenal and there were some exceptional stories heard at the awards ceremony. There are now over 330 Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Communities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland ensuring people with dementia are empowered to live a life they want.

“We want everyone affected by dementia to know that whoever you are, whatever you are going through, you can turn to Alzheimer’s Society for support, help and advice. All the finalists and winners at the Dementia Friendly Awards have demonstrated how we can unite against dementia and support those affected by the condition.”

This year there were 10 awards across eight categories, with awards for Trailblazer, Dementia Friendly Community, Dementia Friends Champion, Dementia Friendly Organisation, Inspiring Young Person, Youth Organisation, Outstanding Contribution and Championing Diversity. Details of the awards, including a full list of winners for the different categories, can be found online at alzheimers.org.uk/dementiafriendlyawards

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