Dementia team at East Cheshire Hospice - East Cheshire Hospice

Dementia team at East Cheshire Hospice

East Cheshire Hospice has strengthened its dementia team to cope with increasing demand.

Experienced mental health specialist Paul Dale has joined as a dementia nurse, enabling the charity to offer extra support to patients.

The Hospice set up its own dedicated dementia service in 2019, with Admiral Nurse Debbie Callow appointed as lead.

Paul Dale and Debbie Callow, the East Cheshire Hospice dementia team.

The illness affects 5,730 people over the age of 65 in Cheshire East, according to the NHS.

The region has a higher percentage of elderly people than anywhere in the country – 18 per cent compared to 16 elsewhere.

Covid delayed Hospice plans to expand dementia care, but with services back to normal it is now hoping to build on them.


Debbie said: “We’ve many ideas how we can expand and help even more people, subject to funding.

“These include taking our services out into communities and making them more accessible, so people don’t always have to come to the Hospice.”

Growing demand for Hospice dementia services illustrates the scale of the problem, explaining why the charity wants to do more.

Debbie said: “People are living longer so there’s more likelihood of developing dementia, although you can still get it when you’re younger.

“Awareness is improving and people are more willing to go to the doctors. Medical advances mean there are now cures for some other illnesses, but sadly not yet for dementia.

“Dementia is playing catch up compared to cancer, with care about 20 years behind cancer care in terms of research and support.”

The Hospice has the country’s senior expert on dementia, Professor Alistair Burns CBE, as a Patron. Prof Burns, formerly of Macclesfield, is the National Clinical Director for Dementia and Older People’s Mental Health at NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Hospice patron Professor Alistair Burns CBE.

Debbie said: “I know Prof Burns was quite impressed when he first came on board with what we were already doing.

“In terms of hospice care for dementia, I do feel like East Cheshire is leading the way and having someone at such a high level has helped give us a push.”

Paul has spent more than three decades working in mental health care, mostly in East Cheshire.

He said: “I referred patients to the Hospice in my previous role, so was already aware of its programmes and services.

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