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More people with dementia are being rushed to hospital emergency departments in Gloucestershire, according to NHS statistics.

More than 3,800 people over the age of 65 and living with dementia in Gloucestershire were admitted to A&E in 2017 to 2018, an increase of almost 10% on figures from 2016 to 2017 (3359).  And now local carers and families are being sought to share their experiences and views on the NHS services supporting people living with dementia.

Independent health and care champion Healthwatch Gloucestershire has launched What would you do? to encourage people in the county to share their views about what changes to local NHS services should look like.

The Government has developed a ten year plan for the NHS covering the whole of England.  Local organisations have now been asked to work out what changes will be made locally to help make the NHS better for local people.

Julia Butler-Hunt, Healthwatch Gloucestershire Manager, said: “With an estimated 5,932 people living with dementia in Gloucestershire, it’s alarming to see so many of these people being admitted to A&E.  Is this because they have nowhere else to go or that specialist dementia care is simply not available?

“Our role at Healthwatch is to ensure we gather views both good and bad from members of the public and then pass these on to the decision-making bodies who plan, pay for and run these services in Gloucestershire.  It’s important that people have a say in how their local health and care service is run, so they can help shape it for the better.”

Healthwatch Gloucestershire is also keen to hear from people about how other health services could improve, including those that support people with mental health conditions, cancer, heart and lung diseases, learning disabilities and autism.  People can also share their views about how the NHS can help them stay well, and take more control over their health and care.

Representatives from the local NHS will also be carrying out engagement work with patients, staff and the community to encourage feedback on the local plan.

For more details on What Would You Do? visit: www.healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk/project/nhs-long-term-plan/

*NHS figures taken from Public Health England data: www.fingertips.phe.org.uk/