What is DSDC?
DSDC Wales was established in 1999, and was a founding member of a network of Dementia Services Development Centres across the UK and Ireland. All had a remit to:
Provide information regarding dementia care and services
Provide training for staff working in dementia care
Undertake care-related research
Undertake consultancy and advice relating to the development of dementia services
DSDC Wales was established as a partnership between Bangor University and an NHS service development team in Cardiff. The Cardiff team’s primary contribution currently is to produce the highly-respected practitioner journal ‘Signpost’, which was available for many years in printed form, but is now available on-line. The funding for DSDC Wales has primarily come from charitable and university sources and income from training, together with some grant funding from the Welsh Government for specific projects. DSDC Wales works closely with a range of partners, including the Alzheimer’s Society and RESEC Cymru, and is committed to working with all those who strive to improve the quality of services for people with dementia and their supporters in Wales. New partnerships and opportunities are always welcome.
The importance of the Welsh language, the unique cultural heritage of Wales, the balance of urban and rural areas, differences in health and social care systems and the challenge of ensuring good communication between North and South Wales are amongst the key drivers for maintaining a DSDC specifically for Wales. The DSDC contributes to policy development and implementation, for example through the National Dementia Vision for Wales and the NHS Wales 1000 Lives Plus Dementia work-stream.
Within Bangor University, the DSDC was until 2013 a core component of the Institute of Medical & Social Care Research, with strong links with NWORTH, the Bangor Clinical Trials Unit, and CHEME, the Bangor centre for health economics. DSDC is now within the School of Health Sciences, as part of the Bangor Institute for Health and Medical Research. DSDC works in partnership across a range of Schools at Bangor University, including the Schools of Psychology, Social Sciences and Music, and links with PONTIO, Bangor’s centre for Arts and Innovation.
From 2005-2015, the DSDC hosted the Dementias and Neurodegenerative Diseases Registered Research Group (NEURODEM Cymru), part of the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR), the research infrastructure for Wales. From April 2015, this became part of the Centre for Ageing & Dementia Research, as part of the Health and Care Research Wales research structure. DSDC leads Bangor University’s contribution to the Centre, which is a collaboration with Swansea and Cardiff Universities.