East Kilbride & District Dementia Carers Group
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BREAKING NEWS: Funding cut update - Letter to local councillor - 21st November 2008

A letter to our local councillor regarding the issue. Download letter as a printable pdf file.

Dear Councillor,
On behalf of the care team at East Kilbride & District Dementia Carers Group (EKDDCG), our Service Users, and our Carers Support Group, may I respectfully request that prior to you making a final decision on the proposal to terminate our contract for dementia care provision with South Lanarkshire Council, you give consideration to the following facts.

Over recent years, South Lanarkshire Council, in spite of compelling evidence from recognised authorities on Dementia care, has continued their practice of reducing Dementia daycare places in East Kilbride.

Dementia - The Statistics

The Scale of the Problem
It is estimated that there are between 58,000 and 65,000 people in Scotland with dementia, and that the figure will rise to between 102,000 and 114,000 by 2031.
(Source, Alzheimer’s Scotland conference, June 2007)

In total, an estimated 700,000 people in the UK have dementia. There will be over one million people with dementia in the UK by 2025. (Source, Alzheimer’s Society)

Official figures projected that within South Lanarkshire, the number of people with dementia would increase over a 10 year period by 25%. Over that same period, the figure for East Kilbride was not 25%, but an estimated at 51%. (source, SLC Joint Community Care Plan)

The ‘Experts’ View on How To Tackle The Problem
In April 2008, a Ministerial statement on dementia by Shona Robison MSP confirmed that the Scottish Government recognises the scale of the problem of dementia in Scotland, as highlighted by the Alzheimers Scotland report “The Dementia Epidemic - where Scotland is now and the challenge ahead.” She affirmed the Scottish Government’s commitment to ‘Make Dementia a National Priority’.

The following quotes are taken from the Alzheimers Scotland publication “Meeting Our Needs? - the level and quality of dementia support services in Scotland”, which was published in June 2008.

4 Study findings
    1. Most councils had a waiting list for day care... (Page 3)
    2. Specialist dementia day care was valued by people with dementia, carers and social work care managers alike. However, there is a shortfall in day care provision appropriate to the needs of people with dementia in the majority of councils. (Page 3)
    3. There is a lack of alternatives to day care for people with dementia and an over-reliance on traditional models of day care. (Page 3)

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5 Conclusions and recommendations
    1. This study has demonstrated serious deficiencies in the provision of core community care services for people with dementia. It is essential that steps are taken now to relieve the pressure on services and plan for the future increase in the number of people with dementia. (Page 3)
    2. Recommendation: Increased provision of specialist dementia day care and development of the level and quality of day opportunities available for people with dementia. (Page 4)
3.3 Day care
Health Department Letter (2004) 44 sets no specific targets for day care, so it is difficult to know what level of under-provision this indicates. However, if the highest level of existing provision in Glasgow is used as a target for all councils, this would mean 64% of those needing day care were not receiving it in 2006. (Page 11)

4 Study findings
Specialist dementia day care was valued by social work care managers. However, there is a shortfall in provision and a lack of alternatives to traditional models. (Page 14)

4.4.2 Appropriateness
Many care managers said that specialist provision in their area provided appropriate activities and catered well for the different stages of the illness. However, some felt there was an over-reliance on traditional models of day care, with lack of suitable alternatives. People with dementia had to fit the service available rather than services being suited to their needs. The Care Commission has highlighted the need for improvements in person-centered planning in day care setting. (Page 17)

4.5 Day opportunities
Not everyone will be suited to a group environment; some people with dementia will not enjoy day care and it is important that there are alternatives. Day opportunities are activities that provide stimulation for the person with dementia. They can be individual or group activities, for example support to participate in leisure activities or walking groups. In our survey of people with dementia, 17% of people did not want t o attend day care. The importance of stimulation for people with dementia who did not want to attend day care was apparent from carers’ responses. “My husband would benefit from support to enable him to go out and do activities such as bowling; he does not require actual day care but would love access to social activities and men’s company.” - Wife of person with dementia (Page 18)

5.1 Recommendations

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Harry Stevenson, Executive Director, Social Work Resources, South Lanarkshire Council, was part of a team that worked on the Scottish Governments ‘Changing Lives’ review of Social Work.

Changing Lives, the report of the independent 21st Century Social Work Review Group, delivered three main messages and challenges. These challenges reflect the wider principles of public service reform, placing social work at the forefront of that agenda The Reality In East Kilbride

The decision of the Council with regards to EKDDCG, supported by Harry Stevenson, is in direct opposition to the very proposals that Mr. Stevenson himself supported as the way forward for Social Work. As for ‘accountability’... ... we have consulted our Service Users and Carers. When asked if they would do the same, the Council replied: “There will be no consultation with service users and carers until the proposed saving is approved by the Council”.

There are currently TWO day care centres in East Kilbride which are specifically for people with dementia: The Saltire Centre and the EK Dementia Carers Group in Pine Crescent.

Between them, they provide a maximum of 120 day care places per week (84 at Saltire and 36 at Pine).

Both centres currently have a waiting list. Both centres currently have people attending who have requested increased days, but which cannot be provided due to the excessive demand on both services.

With the closure of Old Coach Road Day care centre and the dementia unit at Claremont home, there are now less day care places available in East Kilbride for people with dementia than when the Council forecast a 51% increase in the numbers of people with dementia.

Despite this, purely on an inaccurate financial proposal, the dementia day care provision in East Kilbride would be reduced by a further 30% if the Efficiency Savings plan is implemented!

If, however, the Council decide to use one of there existing centres for additional dementia daycare, there will effectively be a cut in daycare services to other Service User Groups to accommodate it.

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Group Background

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The following pages represent some of our ‘Unique’ services, which the Council does not provide, and some comments from our Service Users (with whom we regularly consult and include in decision making).

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A summary of trips and outings in 2008
Tea/Coffee, Cakes & Scones!

1. Moncrieff Church Tearoom
30 visits
2. Broadlees Golf Range Chapleton, Tearoom
3. Greenhill Country Estate Tearoom
4. Clyde Valley Garden Centre.
5. Morrisons
6. Hunters Pub


1. Greenhill Country Estate Tearoom
3 visits
2. Largs
3. Troon
4. Morrisons, East Kilbride
5. New Farm Carvery
6. Dumbarton Carvery
7. Picnics
8. Town Centre

Places of Interest

1. Strathclyde Country Park
4 visits
2. Barge Trip - Forth and Clyde Canal
3. Maidens Beach
4. Burrell Collection
5. Peoples Palace
6. Luss & Loch Lomond
7. Calderglen Country Park
8. Callendar and Doune Antiques Centre
9. Stirling Castle
10. Falkirk Wheel - Barge Trip

One to One Outings with Service Users

1. Hampden Football Museum
1 visit
2. Ten Pin Bowling
3. Snooker
4. Football Match
5. Swing Band and Jazz Band Concert

Evening Outings Including Carers

1. Barge Trip - Forth and Clyde Canal
2. Alexander Brothers Concert.
3. Party Night with Hired Band/dancing

Total 110 outings to date. (as at 14th November 2008)

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Service User Feedback

This is a selection of feedback taken from our “Getting To Know You” form. This section is entitled “Places I Like to go or Would Like to Go”, as identified by our Service Users:

All outings, Museums, Art Gallery, Burrell Collection, Peoples Palace.
Troon and the coast.
Runs to the Coast, Football Museum, Pub Lunches.
Happy with all outings at the club.
Love all trips and outings
Happy with all the places we visit.
Peoples Palace, Transport Museum, Football Museum, Barge Trip, Fish Teas
Barge Trips, Trips to Moncrieff Church for tea and cake.
Edinburgh Zoo
The Seaside.
Like to go out for Lunch.
Loch Lomond and Luss. Troon, Prestwick, Ayr and Largs.
Troon, Luss, Museums, Peoples Palace, Strathclyde Park.

Service User Forums - Feedback
These meeting are held with our Service Users on a monthly basis, these are some of the comments made at such meetings (all names changed to protect privacy of our Service Users):
  1. Mrs A particularly enjoys all the trips and outings because this does not happen at the other daycare centre she attends. (1/03/08)
  2. Mrs B stated that she would be lost without Pine. (04/07/07)
  3. 5 Service Users all like the fact that you are given a choice on outings they can go on. (01/03/07)
  4. All service users are happy that they are involved in decision-making. (01/03/08)
  5. Mrs C likes that when at the club she is never left on her own, if she doesn’t want to join an activity the staff sit with her and chat. (01/03/07)
  6. Everyone agreed that the trips out of the unit were excellent with plenty of choice. (11/02/08)
  7. Happy with choices and any decisions made. Excellent Service, Happy with trips. (12/03/08)
  8. When asked if everyone felt they were given enough choice within the club regarding activities and the things we do, answers included, “I Love It” and “The club is great” (05/02/08)
  9. Service Users were asked what they would look for when the club recruit staff of volunteers, Mrs D stated, “follow the examples of the ones who are there, because they are perfect (ten out of ten)”. Mrs E sated “the staff are right for the job, you can talk to them.” (11/04/08)
  10. Everyone agreed that they are given enough choices in every aspect of the club. Nobody has any complaints and nobody wants any changes. (31/07/08)

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Service User Quotes

These quotes are taken from our “Getting to Know You” form, which is completed by Service Users. This section is entitled “Anything Else You Want Us To Know”
(all names changed to protect privacy of our Service Users):

“I Wouldn’t change anything at Pine, perfectly happy with everything on offer”
Mrs A 29/10/08

“Thoroughly enjoy coming to the club”
Mr B 01/11/08

“I enjoy the friendly company I share with the other club members”
Mrs C 20/05/08

“Very happy with everything at the club. I like the familiar routine.”
Mr D 01/04/08

“I’m not from this area originally, so everywhere we visit is a new and great experience for me”. Mrs E 10/07/08

“I would really miss the club if I couldn’t attend every week”.
Mrs F 29/10/08

“Love all trips and outings on offer at the club”.
Mr G 27/03/08

“I enjoy the company of others in a relaxing, familiar atmosphere”.
Mrs H 29/10/08

“I love all trips and outings”.
Mrs I 29/10/08

We have taken a retired school teacher to the Scotland Street School Museum; a retired policeman to the Police museum; a retired footballer to hospitality in 2 of his former clubs; numerous Service Users to visit the place of their childhood; and people in their 80’s on an astra-glide and in the dodgems!

This is truly ‘person-centred care’.

Our Service Users may well be offered alternative care, but will they be given the same level of choice, inclusion, independence and personalised care? We believe not, and that is why we must fight on their behalf! Listen to what people want!

South Lanarkshire Council may try to avoid consultation with the people who’s lives will be affected by this proposal, but that is not an option for anyone who truly believes in Person Centred Care.

No matter what political party you belong to, I urge you to consider the needs of people with Dementia, and their right to a level of care that meets with their needs.