Sussex Dementia Partnership

The aims of the Partnership –

The Sussex Dementia Partnership is a clinically-led collaboration between the health and social care commissioners and providers of Sussex involved in Dementia care. It aims to transform dementia services in line with the National Dementia Strategy (NDS) in order to improve the experience of people with dementia and their carers.

Dementia is a significant and increasing financial burden in Sussex. There are different commissioning and provider arrangements for dementia across Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex. Evidence suggests that working collaboratively across organisational and geographical boundaries to implement the dementia transformation programme with a QIPP focus could enable Sussex to meet future challenges against a backdrop of financial constraint, and this has led to the formation of the Partnership.

The vision of the programme is to achieve improvements in the following areas:

  • The experience of people with dementia and their carers
  • Early diagnosis of dementia and access to information and support
  • Numbers of people treated (within existing resources) in order to meet significant demographic increases over the next 10 years
  • Improved care in the general hospitals, plus a reduction in inappropriate admissions and length of stay
  • Improved care in care homes
  • Access to dementia crisis support at home services
  • Reduced inappropriate use of anti-psychotic medication
  • Reduced unwarranted variation in services across Sussex



There has been significant progress in delivering the NDS. A full Memory Assessment Service with Dementia Advisors has started in West Sussex and procurement is also underway in the other localities meaning that full coverage will be achieved by April 2013.

The quality of care in general hospitals has improved notably; Older People’s Mental Health Liaison services have been extended across Sussex and the innovation of a Dementia Shared Care Ward is being spread to other hospitals. All four acute trusts have developed Dementia Strategies and are making progress in delivering improvements in education, environment and person-centred care. A Sussex wide dementia acute audit has provided the system with valuable information about the dementia profile in the hospitals and preventative approaches to admission.

In care homes, a Sussex-wide service has been developed to focus on medication review and non-pharmacological approaches to challenging behaviour. This has led to quality improvements and reductions in anti-psychotic prescribing. Achievements have also been made in dementia crisis support services at home.

Finally, work is in progress to improve services for people with dementia at end of life, to increase carers’ support and to provide education for the system in relation to reducing anti-psychotic prescribing.


Patient setting

In-patient   X Out-patient   X Community based   X
Mental health   X


Clinical area

Staying healthy Maternity and newborn Children and young people Acute care   X
Planned care Mental health    X Long-term conditions   X End of life   X


Information, tools and techniques used

The National Dementia Strategy was published in February 2009 and there was widespread belief that the strategy could not be implemented effectively by individual organisations in isolation. The concept of a partnership approach was initiated by CEOs and senior clinicians within Sussex, with the Director of Social Care and Partnerships South East acting as a catalyst to bring the different parts of the system together. The principles of the Academy for Large Scale Change model were utilised, focusing on mobilising, spreading and sustaining change. Whole system modelling was undertaken to understand the impact of implementing the NDS on demand and resources.



Across the local authorities of Brighton & Hove, West Sussex and East Sussex.



The Sussex Dementia Partnership was set up in January 2010, following initial meetings during 2009. A programme manager was jointly funded by NHS Sussex and a Delivery Board established. A two year independent evaluation of the Partnership will be completed in October 2012 and this will form part of a review of the future of the Partnership in the light of the transition to clinical commissioning.


Contact details and further information

Contact Charlotte Clow, Sussex Dementia Partnership


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