Call our free Dementia Helpline 0800 888 6678

Highlights of our partnership with Thames Water’s Priority Services Register

From a Tough Mudder challenge to a clay pigeon shoot, the first two years of our partnership with Thames Water has raised over £148,000 and counting.

As our official partnership with Thames Water’s Priority Services Register comes to an end, we want to focus on the legacy it will leave and our continued collaboration – for example, ensuring that Thames Water colleagues and customers have access to the support of our specialist dementia nurses.

Our Dementia at Work programme

Our Dementia at Work programme ensures that employers benefit from specialist support for staff and customers who are affected by dementia and the many daily challenges it presents.

We have been working with Thames Water to build a better understanding of dementia across the business and support colleagues in coping with its complexities – whether they or someone they know are living with dementia themselves, or they are working with customers affected by the condition.

Dementia training for Thames Water colleagues

Consultant Admiral Nurse Pam Kehoe has been working alongside Olivia Worthington from Thames Water’s Vulnerability Team. As part of this, Pam has delivered training and guidance to customer-facing colleagues. Pam has run four dementia awareness sessions for colleagues which were hosted on Thames Water’s online training platform. The sessions covered:

  • an introduction to dementia
  • top tips on how to communicate with vulnerable people
  • where to go for further support

To complement the sessions, Pam recorded a 10-minute toolkit talk to cover the essential tools needed to support customers who may have dementia.

The videos were shared widely through Thames Water’s internal communications channels, reaching 1,700 frontline workers. Over the past year, communications with a focus on vulnerability were viewed over 45,000 times by colleagues.

It ticked all the boxes for me: I found it very useful indeed. It was powerful to listen to someone who works with people affected by dementia daily – I imagine that brought it home to people who haven’t had close contact with a family member or friend who has been affected.

Rob Hanks, a Customer Representative at Thames Water who took part in the training

The Priority Services Register

Admiral Nurses can refer families directly to Thames Water’s Priority Services Register for additional support. This is a programme for vulnerable customers – including those affected by dementia – who may require:

  • a consistent supply of water for a medical condition
  • translation or help to understand communications from Thames Water
  • extra support due to a life-changing event like a bereavement
  • extra understanding of their situation from Thames Water so they can take it into account as best they can

The number of customers joining the Priority Services Register because they are living with dementia increased by 44% over the course of our partnership with Thames Water.

Dementia is such a complex condition which unfortunately affects many of our customers. It is our duty of care to provide extra support to those that need it through our Priority Services Register. It has been really beneficial to work alongside [Admiral Nurse] Pam to understand more about dementia, assess how we can do more to support colleagues and customers, and equip our customer-facing teams with the confidence they need to work with families affected by dementia.

Olivia Worthington, Partnership Lead, Thames Water

Olivia also spoke at two Dementia UK meetings for Admiral Nurses to build their understanding of Thames Water’s Priority Services Register for vulnerable customers, which is now part of the nurses’ information toolkit to use when supporting families on the Helpline or in the community.