Dementia is a growing challenge. As the population ages and people live for longer, it has become one of the most important health and care issues facing the world. In England it is estimated that around 676,000 people have dementia. In the whole of the UK, the number of people with dementia is estimated at 850,000.
Dementia mainly affects older people, and after the age of 65, the likelihood of developing dementia roughly doubles every five years. However, for some dementia can develop earlier, presenting different issues for the person affected, their carer and their family.
In the East Midlands, there are 55,133 people aged 65 and over, estimated to have dementia. Currently 39,502 people aged over 65 are living with a diagnosis of dementia (NHS Digital, December 2017).
Dementia is a key priority for both NHS England and the Government. In February 2015 the Prime Minister launched his Challenge on Dementia 2020, which set out to build on the achievements of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2012-2015. It sets out NHS England’s aim that by 2020 we are:
- the best country in the world for dementia care and support for individuals with dementia, their carers and families to live; and
- the best place in the world to undertake research into dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Some of the key aspirations of this vision are:
- Equal access to diagnosis for everyone
- GPs playing a lead role in ensuring coordination and continuity of care for people with dementia
- Every person diagnosed with dementia having meaningful care following their diagnosis
- All NHS staff having received training on dementia appropriate to their role.
The East Midlands Mental Health Clinical Network is working with STPs, commissioners, NHS provider and third sector organisations to develop, and improve access to, high quality care and services for people with dementia and their carers.
The network support offer for 2019/20 includes;
- Targeted support and tools to improve dementia diagnosis rates and increase the number of people being diagnosed with dementia, and starting treatment, within six weeks from referral.
- Clinical leadership to inform implementation of key national guidelines in all settings
- Facilitated quality improvement programme for East Midlands Memory Assessment Services
- To clinically inform systems regarding the improvement of post-diagnostic treatment and support for people with dementia and their carers.
NHS England has published a new dementia guide that sets out what good quality assessment, diagnosis and care looks like in relation to formal guidance, in addition to the views and expectations of people living with dementia and their carers
This guide is supported by:
For further information regarding the network support offer, please contact Russell Dunmore, Senior Quality Improvement Manager.