Response teams announcement strengthens national dementia approach

Australia’s global leadership in providing a national approach to dementia care and support is strengthened by today’s announcement of the establishment of Severe Behaviour Response Teams (SBRT), according to HammondCare Chief Executive, Dr Stephen Judd.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Sussan Ley, announced that HammondCare has been appointed to lead the first phase of the SBRT program across the nation to support people in residential aged care with severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).

Dr Judd said Australia’s national approach to dementia support - first through Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Services (DBMAS) and now with SBRT - was considered the envy of other nations.

National approach acclaimed

“The national approach provided by DBMAS is often cited internationally as being a progressive and inspired resource supporting high quality dementia care.

“This has been taken further with the introduction of a highly responsive team of clinical experts to support residential aged care providers in their care of some of Australia's most vulnerable citizens.

“As the number of Australians with dementia continues to rise and the complexity of their health needs increases, this further development in our national response is vital - both in terms of immediate assistance in a crisis and in building longer term capacity,” Dr Judd said.

Industry takes the lead

“One of the distinctive things about the SBRT program is that it is an example of the industry taking the lead, with government support, to develop a national capability in this area.”

Director of HammondCare’s Dementia Centre, Associate Professor Colm Cunningham, agreed there was a critical need to better serve people with severe BPSD.

“I’m confident a specialist team working nationally can offer a significant contribution both to the immediate needs of people in this situation and to the future direction of service delivery and models.

“We look forward to working closely with DBMAS and residential aged care providers across Australia in their care of people with severe BPSD.”