Applies to England
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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/2010-to-2015-government-policy-dementia/2010-to-2015-government-policy-dementia
This is a copy of a document that stated a policy of the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. The previous URL of this page was https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/improving-care-for-people-with-dementia. Current policies can be found at the GOV.UK policies list.
There are around 800,000 people with dementia in the UK, and the disease costs the economy £23 billion a year. By 2040, the number of people affected is expected to double - and the costs are likely to treble.
A lot can be done to help people cope with the symptoms of dementia. But at the moment, the diagnosis rate in England is only 51% - lower than Scotland and Northern Ireland.
We want to increase diagnosis rates so that they’re among the best in Europe by:
- setting a national ambition on dementia diagnosis that two-thirds of the estimated number of people with the condition receive a diagnosis and appropriate post-diagnosis support by March 2015
- putting in place a new Dementia Directed Enhanced Service (DES) to reward GP practices for timely diagnosis and support for people with dementia. There has been 80% take-up by GPs so far.
- introducing an additional enhanced service for GPs between October 2014 and March 2015 with the aim of further increasing diagnosis
On 10 September 2014 NHS England published a new Dementia Toolkit aimed at helping GPs make more timely diagnosis and offering them advice on how to provide vital post-diagnostic support.
Health and care services
A quarter of hospital beds are occupied by people with dementia. To improve health and care services for people with dementia, by March 2015 we are:
- asking every hospital in England to commit to becoming dementia-friendly - most hospitals now have Dementia Champions
- linking £54 million in funding for hospital dementia risk assessments to the quality of dementia care
- asking trusts to appoint a senior clinical lead for dementia who will be responsible for ensuring that staff are trained in dementia care
- asking care homes and services to sign up to the Dementia Care and Support Compact, which sets out new standards for dementia care
- working on a targeted campaign with care home and home care providers to improve diagnosis and post diagnosis support.
- providing £50 million of funding to adapt wards and care homes for people with dementia
- providing dementia training resources for health and care workers - over 377,886 NHS staff have already received Tier 1 (foundation level) dementia training and over 100,000 social care workers have already received some form of dementia awareness training
- providing £400 million to help fund breaks for carers and through the Care Act 2014 have introduced significant changes to better support carers (including carers of people with dementia), giving them a right to have their needs assessed for the first time
In November 2013 we published Dementia: a state of the nation report which pulls together local and nationally available data on dementia and sets out in detail the progress we have made. Alongside the report we have produced online, interactive maps which for the first time, allow someone to enter their postcode to check their local dementia services’ performance and to see the performance of dementia services across the country.
While it’s very common, dementia is not very well understood. People often don’t ask for help because there’s still a stigma attached. Or they think - wrongly - that the symptoms are a normal part of ageing, and that nothing can be done.
To get across the message that people with dementia can be helped, we’re raising awareness and working with lots of different organisations to create dementia-friendly communities.
Scientists understand less about dementia than they do about other major diseases like cancer or heart disease. To increase scientific knowledge of dementia - and potentially make new treatments possible - we are increasing annual funding of dementia research to around £66 million by 2015. This investment includes £20 million towards a social science research programme on dementia.
National Dementia Strategy
The National Dementia Strategy, published in 2009, set new standards for dementia care.
The Dementia Challenge was launched in March 2012 by Prime Minister, David Cameron. The Dementia Challenge work programme superseded the national strategy and focuses on 3 main areas: bringing about improvements in health and care, creating dementia friendly communities and improving research.
On 7 May 2014, the Dementia Challenge champion groups published a letter to the Prime Minister setting out the progress they’ve made.
Who we’re working with
The progress of the Dementia Challenge is overseen by three groups of ‘champions’ each focusing on one of the main areas for action; driving improvements in health and care, creating dementia friendly communities and improving dementia research.
The Dementia Friendly communities work is being led by the Alzheimer’s Society on the dementia awareness campaign.
We’re working with a range of organisations on the implementation of the challenge. These include clinical commissioning groups, local health and wellbeing boards, local NHS services, NHS England, Health Education England, Public Health England, the royal medical colleges, care home and homecare providers, the Association of Directors of Social Services (ADASS) and the Dementia Action Alliance.
The Dementia Action Alliance is made up of over 2,000 organisations which have signed up to the National Dementia Declaration, first published in October 2010. Members of the alliance are committed to working together to improve things for people with dementia and their carers.
Appendix 1: dementia-friendly communities
This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.
Awareness and understanding
To improve understanding - and get across the message that people with dementia can be helped - we ran a nationwide campaign at the end of 2012, which was estimated to have been seen by over 38 million people. An evaluation of the campaign found that three-quarters of people agreed that the campaign would help people with dementia and their families.
On 7 May 2014 Public Health England and the Alzheimer’s Society, supported by corporate and public sector partners, launched the Dementia Friends campaign, a major social movement aimed at improving understanding of dementia and changing attitudes towards people with the condition.
By the end of 2015, we will also:
- get at least 20 cities, towns and villages working towards becoming dementia friendly – 78 communities across England have signed up to the foundation-stage recognition process, more than trebling the original ambition
- work with the British Standards Institute (BSI) to develop a Publically Available Specification (PAS) for dementia friendly communities. The PAS will build on the foundation-stage recognition process and support communities who wish to take further steps towards becoming dementia friendly
- create at least 1 million Dementia Friends - people who are confident offering support to people with dementia, there are currently over 870,000
As part of the dementia friendly communities programme, work is also being taken forward in specific areas, including financial services, retail, transport, technology, the arts, sport and leisure and rural communities.
A Dementia Friendly Financial Services Charter, developed by Alzheimer’s Society, Lloyds Banking Group and organisations across the financial services sector, was published in October 2013. A Dementia Friendly Technology Charter, developed by a working group led by Tunstall Healthcare, was published in June 2014.
Next steps for dementia
Work is underway to shape the future direction of domestic dementia policy. Evidence from the last 5 years will be used to identify gaps and priorities for action, including diagnosis and high quality post diagnosis support.
In early 2015, the Department of Health will publish its vision for the future of dementia policy in England to 2020, following the end of the Prime Minister’s 3-year Dementia Challenge.
The department is talking to a range of people to collect evidence and views to inform the future of the dementia policy, including the newly formed Dementia Advisory Group.