Bring me sunshine: the North Yorkshire dementia strategy

Find out how organisations across different sectors are working together to support people and their carers living with dementia.

'Bring Me Sunshine' is based on the experiences of people living with dementia, their carers and health and social care experts. It contains important messages about what matters to people living with dementia and sets out ambitions to improve the way our communities can be more dementia friendly and how services can better support those who live with dementia.

The background of the dementia strategy

In 2009 the National Dementia Strategy (accessible version here) was published, providing a strategic framework within which local services could deliver quality improvements to dementia services and address health inequalities relating to dementia.

Following on from the National Dementia Strategy, the Prime Minister's challenge on dementia 2020 was published in February 2015, setting out the Government's aspirations for what the NHS, along with its partners both locally and nationally, will be asked to deliver in the course of the current parliament.

Themes, principles and priorities

The strategy has been developed by talking to nearly 1300 people who live with dementia every day of their lives. They have described the things that are important to them. These include:

  • challenging the stigma associated with dementia and raising awareness about it;
  • the importance of early diagnosis;
  • ensuring consistent care and support;
  • seeing the person, not the dementia;
  • supporting people living with a learning disability and dementia;
  • the value and importance of carers support; and
  • planning for the future and dying well.

The action plan has four key principles which will run through everything that we do.

  • I am me - I am not dementia - I have a name and I expect it to be used.
  • Carers matter - treat them as well as they treat us.
  • The small things - small acts of understanding can make a huge difference.
  • Consistency - where I live shouldn't determine how I am treated.

North Yorkshire has a number of local Dementia Action Alliance, Dementia Friendly Community and other Dementia Groups that are focused on improving the lives and communities of people living with dementia and their families, carers and loved ones.

By working in partnership, these groups will be the main driving force for delivering and implementing the Dementia Strategy within their localities.

The groups are:

  • Hambleton Dementia Action Alliance
  • Richmondshire Dementia Action Alliance
  • Hambleton and Richmondshire Collaborative
  • Whitby Dementia Action Alliance
  • Scarborough Dementia Action Alliance
  • Ryedale Dementia Friendly Community
  • Selby Dementia Friendly Community
  • Harrogate System Leaders Group and Harrogate Dementia Action Alliance
  • Craven Advisory Group (providing support to Skipton Dementia Friendly Community, Bentham Dementia Friendly Community, Grassington Dementia Friendly Community and Settle Dementia Friendly Community)

Each group has a local action plan which will feed into the wider North Yorkshire Action Plan. These plans will be made available to view in due course.

The partners will produce an annual report on progress and in addition, North Yorkshire County Council will continue to host an annual dementia conference in order to highlight best practice and discuss new and emerging issues with both health and social care professionals and people living with dementia and their carers.

Getting involved

If you or your organisation would like more information or would like to get involved with your local group, please email dementia@northyorks.gov.uk for further details.