Post diagnostic support (PDS) covers a range of services and information available to help those diagnosed with dementia and their carers, both immediately after diagnosis and onwards. It must be on-going and flexible to adapt to the changing needs of the person, carer and family as the disease progresses. For many carers, and for those with Young Onset Dementia, this can also include employer awareness and support.
PDS includes many different options in many different settings – in primary care, in memory assessment services, in the community and is provided by many different agencies within the NHS, Local Authorities, charities and voluntary agencies. It includes things such as signposting to up to date and locally available services, medication and medication reviews, carer support, cognitive stimulation therapy, dementia friendly communities and so on – whatever helps those diagnosed with dementia and their carers to live as well as possible for as long as possible with their condition.
However experiences show that there is wide variation across the West Midlands in the type and availability of post diagnostic support available to those needing it, and many have difficulty both finding and accessing support.
WMSCN and ADASS ran a series of surveys throughout April to June 2015 for commissioners of services, providers of services and the users of those services, and their carers, to try and understand what PDS services currently exist in the region and where improvements might be . The results of those surveys formed the basis of acknowledge and information sharing event held on 14th October 2015 to highlight areas of innovation, both regionally and nationally around PDS, that are being provided.
Further information regarding the results of these surveys, the PDS event and information about innovative models of care can all be found in the PDS resources section on the WM SCN website.