Jo Poynter, Associate Director for Improvement and Innovation for Health and Community Services, appeared on the BBC Breakfast show on Thursday 23 March. Jo was interviewed by presenter Jenny Mullin about the Dementia Strategy, a piece of work being carried out by the Government of Jersey in partnership with the charity, Dementia Jersey.
The strategy, which is expected to be published by the end of October 2023, is one of the Minister of Health and Social Services’, Deputy Karen Wilson’s, key priorities.
It will outline a vision and a set of priorities for Jersey over the next five years to make Jersey become more dementia friendly and inclusive.
Islanders are also being asked to help shape the work of the strategy, by taking part in an online survey.
BBC: What will the results of this survey be actually used for?
JP: It will inform the strategy we are currently developing. We’ve got lots of data and figures but what is really important is hearing the voice of people who have got lived experience. We know that 50% of all adults are in contact with people with one form of dementia. So, it’s really important as we develop the strategy we make sure that we put in things that matter to Islanders.
BBC: So what aspects are you addressing? If you could tell us specifically a couple of things that are being looked at?
JP: We are looking at how we can prevent dementia. Only one in three people know that they can do something to reduce their risk of dementia. So prevention is really important. We know there is an ageing population and we want to keep people as healthy as possible for as long as possible so we are looking at what we can do to keep people healthy and in their own homes. And then, what we need in place as people’s dementia progresses and how we can have the right support networks and services in place to support both the person and their families.
BBC: How many people are you expecting to support in the future?
JP: We know the number is increasing. We know Dementia Jersey is in contact with 1,500 people. If we are a dementia friendly Island we would be able to support in one way or another, even if it’s making our shops more accessible, we will be able to support everybody with dementia. But much more localised to that, we know that last year there were 500 individuals with a diagnosis of dementia that were admitted to the General Hospital for one reason or another, so we need to make sure that people’s experience, whether its where they live in the community or whether they come into services, is based around each of those individuals and we’ve got a good knowledge and understanding of how to care better for people.
BBC: You’re looking for people’s opinions. You’re wanting to take in what the public is thinking and use it in this strategy. So how do people share how they feel?
JP: There’s a few ways we have at the moment. We are doing some engagement sessions currently and that is with people with dementia and working very closely with Dementia Jersey. We are sending out a survey to people. People can access that, there will be QR codes all around Jersey in places such as GP surgeries, that people can go online to and fill in an online form.
Earlier in the Breakfast show, Wendy Buckley, interim CEO of Dementia Jersey, was also interviewed about partnership working to create the Dementia Strategy.
You can share your views by taking part in the survey: Dementia Strategy – public survey (gov.je)