[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 1 Issue 10, May 2011].
Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia, has written a letter notifying PCT Medical Directors of the proposed data collection exercise starting in May 2011, about the establishment of memory services. This initiative is part of the National Audit of Dementia Services being undertaken by the NHS Information Centre on behalf of the Department of Health.
The NHS Operating Framework 2011/12 states that people with dementia and their carers need information to help them to understand the range and quality of local services. NHS organisations are expected to make progress on the National Dementia Strategy, including the priority areas stated in the implementation plan published in September 2010. £150 million was made available to PCTs in the first two years (£60 million in 2009/10 and £90 million in 2010/11) to implement the National Dementia Strategy, without a ‘ring-fence’ on the funding. The National Audit Office, in its review of services for people with dementia, has been consistently critical of the lack of hard data to monitor progress in developing services.
Implementation of the National Dementia Strategy, and appropriate use of the funding, are issues of great interest to Ministers, Parliament and the public. As there is a lack of data on dementia services, the Strategy includes a commitment to establish a national baseline measurement of services. The collection of data on memory services will enable local organisations to monitor progress in this area and allow local populations to
hold authorities accountable for progress. The expiry date for this data collection is April 26th 2012.
A follow-up letter, with further details and instructions, was distributed in late May 2011.
The questions for PCTs to answer entail:
- Does your PCT currently provide memory assessment services?
- How much was spent by your PCT on memory assessment services
during 2008/09 and 2009/10?
- Can you clarify the range of services provided by the memory
- Are the memory services accredited by the Royal College of
Burns, Alistair (2011). National Audit of Dementia Services : Establishment of Memory
Services. London: Department of Health, April 26th 2011. (Dementia Gateway Reference 15930).