Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is encouraging people living with dementia and their carers from Bangor and the surrounding area to share their experiences of the care and support they have received.

The Health Board is working in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society to mark Tell Your Story Week (23-28th July) with a series of engagement events across North Wales.

An informal drop in session will be held in the Main Foyer of Ysbyty Gwynedd between 2 and 4pm on Tuesday 24th July. The session forms part of BCUHB’s ongoing commitment to using patient and carer feedback to drive improvements in its older people’s services.

There are thought to be more than 11,000 people in North Wales who are living with dementia, with one in fifteen people over the age of 65 years affected.

Sean Page, Consultant Dementia Nurse at BCUHB, said: “We are determined to not only listen, but to truly hear and act on what the people who use our dementia services are saying.

“These events will provide people with dementia and their carers with an opportunity to tell us about their experiences in an informal environment over a cup of tea and some cake.

“We want to hear people’s opinions on the care they have received from the point of diagnosis to the current time, whether they feel it has been good, bad or somewhere in between.”

The Health Board has vowed to take heed of recent independent reports by the Health and Social Care Advisory Service (HASCAS) and health investigator Donna Ockenden, which recommend that more work is done to map the needs of older adults and people with dementia across North Wales.

BCUHB’s recently published dementia strategy outlines how it will build on progress made in recent years to improve the experience of all people living with dementia who access health services in North Wales.

Amongst the six priority actions it sets out is an ambitious commitment to work with the Alzheimer’s Society to work towards becoming a ‘Dementia Friendly Organisation’. Other priority areas include improved safeguarding; ensuring carers feel welcomed, valued and supported; and improving access to assessment for diagnosis.

Sean says the Health Board recognises that the voices of people living with dementia and their families have often not been heard.

He added: “We see the future as one in which those who are diagnosed with dementia and those who support them can feel confident that not only will they experience compassionate, safe and professional care but that they have, as a right, real opportunities to shape and be more involved in that care.”

Events are being held in every county of North Wales and people are encouraged to drop in throughout the day for an informal chat with BCUHB staff.

If you would prefer to email feedback on your experience of living with or caring for someone with dementia, please contact: bcu.getinvolved@wales.nhs.uk