One of the country’s top medical experts Professor Alistair Burns CBE has been appointed a Patron of East Cheshire Hospice.
Prof Burns is the National Clinical Director for Dementia and Older People’s Mental Health at NHS England and NHS Improvement.
Widely regarded as the country’s senior expert on dementia, Prof Burns, who lives in Knutsford, Cheshire, hopes his extensive clinical experience will benefit the Macclesfield-based hospice.
He is Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at The University of Manchester and an Honorary Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist in the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.
He was awarded the CBE in 2015 for contributions to health and social care, in particular dementia, an illness which affects more than 850,000 people in the UK and could reach one million by 2025.
The Hospice, which has already developed some specialised dementia services but wants to do more, is thrilled to have such an eminent clinician on board.
Prof Burns said: “It’s a privilege to be involved with such a landmark organisation as East Cheshire Hospice which is taking a fantastic initiative with its dementia care.
“I’ll be doing all I can to promote East Cheshire Hospice’s work and that of the hospice movement in general.
“Medical practice is partly about sharing experiences, and examples of good practice, nationally and internationally and I’ll make sure people are aware of the work in the Hospice and encourage others to do the same.
“I’m also sure there are ideas from the recent information and research into dementia which I can bring into discussions with the Hospice.”
Prof Burns has published more than 350 papers and 25 books about his research into the mental health problems of older people, in particular dementia and Alzheimer’s, its most common cause.
Cheshire has been home for Prof Burns for the last 30 years. “It’s got the best walks, the best pubs and the best restaurants – it’s a great place to live,” said the Glasgow-born father-of-two whose work drew him to Manchester.
He was made an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2016 and for 20 years was editor of the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
Hospice Chief Executive Karyn Johnston said: “We are honoured that Professor Burns has agreed to become a Hospice patron. He is hugely respected within the clinical profession for his outstanding contributions towards dementia and the well-being of older people.”
The Hospice’s other patrons are BBC broadcaster Nick Robinson and actor Charlie Lawson.