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Joint dementia music therapy project launches in Manchester

Joint dementia music therapy project launches in Manchester
By Beth Gault
29 May 2024

A jointly funded music therapy project for patients living with dementia has launched in Manchester.

The three-year project aims to improve the lives of patients living with the condition through ‘music cafés’ where people will be guided through singing and playing instruments.

The £1m initiative is half funded by the Power of Music fund, from the National Academy for Social Prescribing, and half funded by Greater Manchester ICB.

The cafes will be set up in each of Manchester’s 10 boroughs by the Manchester Camerata orchestra and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Patients will be able to self-refer to the scheme, carers can refer with the patients’ permission, or healthcare services can refer.  

The University of Manchester will do an evaluation of the project to assess its impact on patients who attend the cafes. It is hoped the therapy will reduce the burden on health and care services.

Alzheimer’s Society regional manager for Greater Manchester, Sue Clarke, said the initiative would establish a ‘centre for excellence’ for dementia and music with a model that could be spread further, ‘wherever we can go’.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester ICB added: ‘NHS Greater Manchester is pleased to support the UK’s first centre of excellence for music and dementia. 

‘For people with dementia, opportunities like this helps them stay active and creative and can helps them to lead happier, healthier lives.

 ‘This music project enhances our work as a creative health city region and our broader agenda to support community led health and wellbeing.

 ‘We look forward to working alongside partners in this programme to learn about the impact these music sessions will have. We want to help improve the quality and experience of health and care for everyone affected by dementia.’

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