Trustees at the charities Douglas Macmillan Hospice and Approach have agreed to a strategic alliance to further develop specialist dementia care within Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.
The move follows collaborative working and discussions regarding the common theme of improving healthcare in the community and reflects similar goals and ambitions, particularly in regard to dementia care.
Dougie Mac and Approach will work together to explore new dementia support initiatives using their combined experience obtained through decades of serving the community as established and highly regarded charities.
Consequently, in addition to his role as Dougie Mac Chief Executive, David Webster will be undertaking the role of Chief Executive at Approach and will be responsible for overseeing its strategy and future plans.
Both Dougie Mac and Approach will remain individual charities but will embrace “a mutually beneficial and progressive partnership” aimed at the provision of a seamless journey of care for those living with dementia and associated conditions.
Approach has been providing specialist support to people living with dementia and related health issues in North Staffordshire since 1981. Today, it has 58 staff and 40 volunteers to deliver the vision that ‘everyone affected by dementia should be supported to live their life the way they choose’.
Its services which include: Day Groups where members can participate in a wide range of activities and visit places of interest; 1-2-1 individual support services; Dementia Advisors and Carer Cafes which offer informal support for carers and provides the opportunity to meet new friends alongside community nurses, support workers and specialist dementia advisors.
Dougie Mac is one of the largest hospices in the UK and well known in the local community, having been established 45 years ago. At any one time, Dougie Mac provides a broad range of hospice services free of charge to over 2,000 adults with life-limiting illnesses in the North Staffordshire area, also providing supportive care for their families and carers. A team of 350 staff and over 1,000 volunteers makes this possible through the varied services available that cost in excess of £12 million to fund each year, such as the Inpatient Unit, Community Support, Hospice at Home, Independent Living Suites and the Day Therapy Unit services.
David Webster commented: “There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, and the associated issues with an aging population are well-documented. Dougie Mac is determined to play a pro-active role in meeting the challenge of dementia as a life-limiting condition, in the same way as we have historically done for other such illnesses.
“Our aim is to forge a powerful alliance between these two influential local charities. Our combined strength will accentuate the contemporary commitment we both have to alleviating the problems associated with a dementia diagnosis. Our partnership will mould the landscape for this kind of specialist care in North Staffordshire.”
Eddie Slade, Approach Chairman, added: “Approach is well positioned to add to the work of Dougie Mac as are Dougie Mac to the work of Approach. The Board are enthusiastic about the new range of opportunities that this alliance will provide. We see many possibilities for the two charities to use their combined experience to further enhance the services offered to the community.”