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Dr Suzanne Timmins, a geriatrician based in Cork who has a special interest in health service research and quality improvement in the area of dementia and delirium care in acute hospitals, has been appointed to the post.
The appointment is the third to take place in the NDO this year. Two senior project managers were appointed to the Office in early 2017.
Dr Timmins is also Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Gerontology and Rehabilitation at University College Cork (UCC) and Programme Co-ordinator for the MSc in Older Person Rehabilitation, UCC.
She co-led the Irish and Northern Ireland National Audits of Dementia and, on behalf of the HSE National Clinical Programme for Older People, chaired a working group to develop a national delirium algorithm for use on acute hospital wards.
The NDO was established in 2015 under the remit of the HSE National Social Care Division to lead the implementation of the National Dementia Strategy, which was published in 2014.
The Office is responsible for supporting implementation of the strategy by working with senior healthcare professionals and organisations focusing on the priority areas identified.
The NDO website, www.understandtogether.ie, has a collection of information and resources relating to dementia for GPs and other healthcare professionals.
There are around 55,000 people living with dementia in Ireland and around 4,000 are diagnosed annually.
The strategy outlines a number of planned actions, including upskilling GPs in dementia diagnosis, undertaking an awareness campaign and establishing dementia training and education programmes.