The Dementia Support Service in Medway


What is it?

The Medway Dementia Support Service teamThe Dementia Support Service is a new innovative service in Medway that supports people with dementia and their family carers at home. The Service gives short-term support to family carers to enable people with dementia to remain in their homes and reduce the number of hospital admissions.

The service is funded by the NHS through Medway Community Healthcare and managed by Gill Pemble, Modern Matron of Darland House, a specialist nursing home offering continuing care for older people in Medway. The service is delivered in partnership with Dementia UK who advise on practice development and service development.

Pictured from left to right: Trish Roberts (Support Worker), Jo Milne (Dementia Specialist Nurse), Eve Swaine (Support Worker), Gill Pemble (Manager), Petra Deleslie (Support Worker)


How it works

The service provides a short-term (up to 8 weeks), focused intervention to resolve specific issues such as helping the carer deal with challenging behaviour or physical problems that can be managed at home. 

The service’s Dementia Specialist Nurse will meet with the patient and carer to make an assessment and draw up an individualised care plan. Based on need, cases are graded as Red, Amber or Green – similar to the Case Work Model. 

The support worker will then work closely with the patient and family carer, providing the support, advice, or tools to enable them to better cope at home.  

Referrals are made by GPs, Admiral Nurses, Kent and Medway Partnership Trust, and other professionals.


Why it is innovative?

  • Darland House’s experienced nurses and support workers are bringing their skills and knowledge about dementia out into the community
  • They are also sharing experiences and best practices with other care homes in Medway
  • Local services and support are working together to help people with dementia to stay at home for longer


How Dementia UK is involved

Dementia UK is advising on practice development and Wendy Weidner, Dementia UK Pioneer for Medway, is assisting in developing the service in such areas as recruitment, operations development, and service promotion.

Wendy says:
“It’s exciting to be working with a team that is so enthusiastic and eager to get out into the local community. And the feedback we’ve received has been very positive!

It’s wonderful to be pooling resources and working together to offer family carers the tools they need to keep them from breaking down under the stress of caring and enable people with dementia to remain in their homes for longer. “


Contacting the Dementia Support Service

The dementia support team will be available between 7am -7pm, seven days a week when fully functional. In the interim it is available Monday to Friday 9am-5pm

Telephone: (01634) 852323 ext 212
Fax: (01634) 855030