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Working in partnership with Thames Water’s Priority Services RegisterMay 17, 2023
Over the past two years, our partnership with Thames Water has seen some fantastic fundraising highlights, from a graduate Tough Mudder challenge to a clay pigeon shoot, which have collectively raised over £148,000 and counting. This could fund two brand new dementia specialist Admiral Nurses, who provide life-changing support to families affected by dementia.
As our official partnership has come 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.
Rob Hanks, a Customer Representative at Thames Water who took part in the training, said:
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.
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.
You can find more information about Dementia at Work on our website.
Become a corporate partner
Find out about the difference your company can make and the benefits of working with usFind out more
Why we need your support
A diagnosis of dementia can be devastating for the whole family. With someone developing the condition every three minutes in the UK, almost all of us will know someone with dementia – and it will directly affect many of your colleagues and customers.Find out more
Support us with your workplace
Dementia is a huge and growing health crisis, with over 900,000 people in the UK living with a diagnosis. Supporting Dementia UK through your workplace will help us offer a lifeline to more families facing dementia.Find out more