Emergency Services Pledge Commitment to People with Dementia

Emergency services are pledging their dedication to improve services and care for people living with dementia by signing a ‘Strategic Commitment on Dementia’ with the charity Alzheimer’s Society.

Emergency services strategic commitment on dementia The agreement pledges that services will ensure that staff have the necessary awareness, skills and understanding to recognise and support people living with dementia before, during and after an emergency incident as well as improving the general safety of people living with dementia, their families and carers and supporting Alzheimer’s Society in their quest to develop more dementia-friendly communities.  

Cleveland Police and partner agencies from Cleveland Fire Brigade, North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) and Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team signed the document called the ‘Emergency Services Strategic Commitment on Dementia’ on Wednesday 13th December at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough.

Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin, from Cleveland Police, said: “The Emergency Services Strategic Commitment on Dementia is a great way of pledging our commitment to ensuring that we respond appropriately to the needs of those with dementia and their families.

“Work is ongoing to highlight dementia awareness across Cleveland and it is great that we can join together with our emergency services colleagues to understand better the needs of those with dementia and their families.”

Andrew Ball, Senior Dementia Friendly Communities Officer at Alzheimers Society, said: “The emergency services play a vital part in keeping people living with dementia safe in their own community, especially during these winter months when temperatures plummet. 

“By signing this document they are showing their commitment to ensuring staff have the necessary knowledge and understanding to support people living with dementia and prevent emergency situations happening.

“I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response from all emergency services and together we can help people with dementia remain an active part of the community.”

Brian Robinson, Head of Safeguarding at Middlesbrough Football Club, said: “Middlesbrough Football Club is a dementia-friendly organisation and is committed in working in partnership with dementia-friendly communities. We fully support our police, fire, ambulance and mountain rescue colleagues with their pledge with the ‘Emergency Services Dementia Strategic Commitment’ and look forward to working together in the future to build our dementia communities.”

There are currently more than 34,000 people across the North East living with dementia.

Cleveland Police was one of the first Forces to adopt the Herbert Protocol, which encourages carers, families, friends and neighbours of those with dementia to hold information about the person with dementia which could help police find them if they go missing.

The Force has also teamed up with local care homes to provide safe havens for missing people with dementia and have trained officers and staff across the Force to become ‘dementia friends’.