A PUBLIC consultation into a shake-up of specialist dementia services in Lancashire has been launched.

More than 17,000 people are thought to be living with dementia in the county.

NHS Lancashire and Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust have now launched the 12-week consulation to consider two options which will affect the services they access in the future.

Residents, healthcare professionals and other interested parties have all been asked for their opinions.

The first option proposes a single site in Blackpool with extensive community services while the second suggests two sites in Blackpool and Blackburn with reduced community services.

NHS Lancashire chief executive Janet Soo-Chung said: “With thousands of people living with dementia across Lancashire and with cases expected to rise, the amended services must be able to cope with this future increase.”

There are currently 17,607 people aged 65 and over in Lancashire with dementia and at least 317 people in Lancashire under 65.

Numbers are expected to increase to 25,611 by 2025.

Dr Amanda Thornton, clinical director for adult community services at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The aim is to provide a robust network of care that enables people with dementia to be supported in their usual place of residence for as long as possible.

“There is a strong evidence to suggest that this is the most effective way to care for people and that better outcomes and quality of life can be achieved through such an approach.

“A huge amount of investment has been made developing community teams to enable people to be cared for at home which means fewer people with dementia require a hospital admission.

“Specialist hospital beds will be available for those people who require one.”

The consultation document and survey are available on lancashire mentalhealth.co.uk