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Project to help people living with dementia nets national award

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An innovative project to help people living with dementia in the borough has won a prestigious national award.

Dudley Council’s Project Rita (Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities) won gold at the iESE’s national Public Sector Transformation Awards. The winners were revealed last night (wed) online via a live stream, with only nominees attending the ceremony in person in London.

Marie Spittle, head of access and prevention (centre), and Matt Bowsher, director of adult social care (right), receiving the award for Dudley Council.

The £75,000 scheme gives people living with dementia access to a tablet and the Rita system, which uses sound and vision to stimulate people’s thoughts and ideas.

The tablets and system are being used in residential and nursing homes across the borough and at two dementia gateways – Queens Cross in Dudley and Brett Young in Halesowen.

The win comes after the ground-breaking project was shortlisted earlier this year for both Best Service Delivery Model and Digital Impact at the national LGC Awards.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for adult social care, said:

I am delighted this ground-breaking project has received yet more national recognition.
Through the tablets people are able to listen and watch all of their old favourites to evoke happy memories, which has a huge impact on the wellbeing and behaviour of people living with dementia.
Early evaluations suggest it has helped with reductions in falls and hospital admissions along with a number of other positive impacts.
I’d like to thank everyone in the team who has worked so hard to make it a reality. It’s an honour to win such a prestigious award.

Project Rita was developed in partnership with My Improvement Network, which develops dementia software for the elderly.

Mike Hamilton, Director of My Improvement Network said:

We are absolutely thrilled to have played a part in this amazing project.
It demonstrates clearly how local authority organisations and industry technology innovators can work collaboratively to enable enhancements in care delivery that have a positive impact for services users and care staff in equal measure.
We are so proud of what we have accomplished together with the health & social care team at Dudley Council and this award is the icing on the cake.

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