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Oxfordshire pioneer dementia neighbourhood watch

Oxfordshire pioneer dementia neighbourhood watch
5th July 2012

A scheme that works in much the same way as neighbourhood watch is being pioneered in Oxfordshire to help find people with dementia when they go missing.

Some £191,000 has been given to health chiefs in the area to roll out the Neighbourhood Return scheme, which is hoped to go national in the future, The Oxford Times reported.

It works by getting carers to log important details that could be useful when a person gets lost, such as contact phone numbers, photos, likely places to look, et cetera.

Should a patient then go missing, a team of volunteers will receive a text with this information and go out and look for them.

Dr Rupert McShane, a consultant old age psychiatrist at the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, explained to the newspaper that when patients go missing it is a harrowing time for their families and can be the final straw.

"It’s something that people talk about when they come to clinics," he said. "It’s an extremely stressful thing for carers when their loved one goes missing."

The scheme will be key in providing peace of mind the families of those with dementia and ensure patients get returned to them safe and sound.

Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.