In the progress report published on 8 November the health and care champion group set out what it is going to do next:
Our ambition for the coming year is to support people with dementia to live well with dementia in all care settings. We want to galvanise engagement and support for this important agenda working with the other champion groups.
Having listened to the views from the public via the Dementia Challenge website, we have developed an action plan setting out 15 priority work areas. The plan widens the challenge to encompass social care and integration issues including, for example, extending the scope of the work to include end of life care, rehabilitation, reablement and housing. The priorities for the next phase of the champion group’s work include the following:
Commissioning effective, high-quality care
We will build understanding and capacity about commissioning services for people with dementia, working with health and wellbeing boards, clinical commissioning groups, with Healthwatch and Public Health England, to raise their awareness of the Dementia Challenge and support them to promote and deliver integrated, quality dementia care.
We will spread best practice about high quality dementia care and disseminate learning about the effectiveness of personal budgets for people with dementia. We will also share training materials for staff within health, social care and housing, and for carers of people with dementia, with the aim of providing better support to carers.
Working closely with the dementia friendly communities champion group, we will support the full range of health and care services in different settings to become ‘dementia friendly’. This includes supporting the Department of Health’s work programme on improving health and care environments for people with dementia and their carers.
On 25 October the Secretary of State for Health announced that £50 million of capital funding is being made available in 2013-2014, for the NHS and local authorities to work with providers to create care environments to help people with dementia live well with the condition. The findings and evidence from the pilot projects will be used to develop future guidance in this area.
We will step up work with GPs and other health and care professionals to drive significant improvements in the diagnosis of dementia. We will work with the NHS Health Check programme, so that from April 2013 people aged 65 to 74 will be given information at the time of the risk assessment to raise their awareness of dementia and the availability of memory services. This will help to ensure that people with dementia are diagnosed at an earlier stage.
We will support an increase in the coverage and accreditation of memory services and roll-out the information offer pioneered by the South West across England.
To measure progress on the coverage and capacity of memory services, the Department of Health will re-run the National Audit of Memory Services, which reported its first results in September 2011.
High quality, compassionate care in hospitals
From April 2013, we will extend the Dementia Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) to include measures of the quality of dementia care in hospital and support for carers of people with dementia.
High quality, compassionate care in the community
We will encourage local authorities, housing associations, care homes and domiciliary care associations to sign up to the Dementia Care and Support Compact and take action to develop innovative fit-for-purpose solutions to help people stay at home with the right level of personalised support. The provider quality profile on the NHS and social care information website will highlight if providers have signed up to the compact.
We will work with health and wellbeing boards to ensure that people with dementia get equal access to intermediate care or re-ablement services including telecare and home adaptations.
We will also continue to work with the National Council for Palliative Care and other key organisations to support access to high quality personalised end of life care for people with dementia. The NCPC is launching, in December 2012, a dementia specific communications training programme to support staff in different care settings to be skilled in end of life conversations.
To support health and care professionals, a practical guide for the recognition, assessment and management of pain in people with dementia, including an assessment of hydration and malnutrition, is also being developed and will be available in December 2012.
Supporting health and care professionals
To better support staff, we will continue to take action to improve the whole health and social care workforce (in the statutory, third and independent sectors) to be positive, have the right level of expertise for their role, deliver excellent standards of care and have the confidence to involve people and families in designing care and support.
The right treatment
Finally, we will work with the NHS Institute and other stakeholders to understand reasons for regional variations in the prescribing of antipsychotic medication and how this can be addressed. We will also re-run the national audit into the prescribing of these drugs to monitor the level of prescribing and regional variation.
There is much to do, but we are determined to make a difference and look forward to making progress in the next phase of our work.