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Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt launches in Manchester on Thursday 7th March

Date: Thursday 7th March 2013
Time: 12.30-12.45
Venue: Postgrad centre: Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9W

On the day contact:

Alexia Mitton NHS TEL 0161 625 7453
Nancy Collantine Fido PR 0161 274 3311/0773 696 5574

The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, will be launching a pioneering new digital approach to delivery of dementia support;, in Manchester on Thursday 7th March at the Year of action on dementia awareness - North West Regional Conference in Manchester. is a portal to help people living with dementia, their family and professional carers access the best possible information and support, from diagnosis to services for all families living with dementia. Capsool’s innovative time capsule technology is being used to enable people with dementia and their carers to record memories, photographs and their life stories to share either with a private audience or publically in the Life Stories area in order to improve their personalised care.

Life story work is a powerful way to overcome difficulties that arise when people are defined only by the diagnosis of dementia rather than as a unique individual. It helps people in all settings whether at home in their communities, care homes, supported living, or hospital, to regain their sense of self by capturing their story. Family carers and paid staff can then appreciate their lives, strengths, interests and hopes more fully and understand how to support them better now and in the future.

Currently across the North only 49% of those thought to have dementia have been diagnosed and therefore have access to all the care and support they need and are entitled to. By providing information that is easily accessible and understandable, the portal is designed to raise awareness and help increase diagnosis rates – particularly early diagnosis which it is proven increases life expectancy, improves the quality of life and generates significant savings for the NHS.

Created in consultation with the Life Story Network, the organisation supported by the Government to improve dementia care through training in life story work, this innovative digital timeline and archive will be a valuable resource for health and social care professionals to help them build meaningful relationships with individuals with dementia and their family carers.

“Excellent care requires knowing the person being cared for not just recognising and dealing with their dementia,” says Anna Gaughan, Chief Executive of the Community Interest Company (CIC) the Life Story Network (LSN). “Life Story work enables professional and family carers to deliver individual and personalised care, creating empathy through building on the memories and experiences of those with dementia to support not only the present but also their future. Taking part in the process of building that life story is as important for all parties involved as the final product created, whatever the format that takes.”

The creative platform has been developed by Capsool, the Manchester-based digital innovation business that last year created the Jubilee Time Capsule for the Queen. The NHS portal will be its second digital time capsule concept created.

Capsool works with organisations to bring together people’s stories and memories through creative use of digital technology. The shared focus of the subject dialogue gives the material the capacity to create valuable social and historic content that is presented as a digital archive, or (re)collection.

Paul Carruthers, managing director of Capsool is delighted that his vision for the time capsule technology is being adopted to help socially vulnerable groups; “With Capsool we are exploring how social media can be used in meaningful ways that create profound economic and social value to people and organisations we work with.”


Background information

Funded by NHS North of England, led by NHS NW and commissioned in response to the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge, the portal focuses on the needs of the person with dementia, their families and the professionals that care for them. It is a resource of helpful, fresh information on the provision of services in the North of England and makes it easier for people to understand what they can expect from their services and how they can access them.

The portal aims to:

• Encourage early diagnosis by sending people to their GPs
• Increase transparency so people know where to go for the best service
• Improve quality of life for people with a dementia diagnosis
• Embody the philosophy: it’s about the person, not the dementia.

Life Story Network
The Life Story Network (LSN) works with a range of partners, and individuals, to promote the value of using life stories to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of people and communities, particularly those marginalised or made vulnerable through ill health or disability. LSN, based in Liverpool, delivers training and consultancy and facilitates the sharing of good practice in Life Story Work based on a human-rights based approach. The Life Story Network Ltd is a Community Interest Company (CIC) in England and Wales.


Capsool is a creative technology company based in Manchester. Its inventive approach to digital technology and memory (re)collections was at the forefront of the Queen’s Jubliee Time Capsule ( and is now being used to work with a Premier League football club and a British media institution.


For more information on the Secretary of State’s visit contact Department of Health contact: Carolyn Armstrong 02077210 5472,
Or NHS North of England contact: Alexia Mitton 0161 625 7453,

For more information and to arrange interviews with Capsool contact: Nancy Collantine 0161 2743311,

For more information about life story work and arrange interviews with case studies of families with experience of creating their life stories and of the Life Story Network ( contact: Rhonda Smith,, 01264 326427 or 07887-714957. Out of hours number 07887-714957.