[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 1, August 2011].
The Department of Health has launched a commissioning toolkit to help GPs improve the quality of dementia services and cut costs.
GPs on clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are being asked to re-design dementia services to help cut costs, in accordance with the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) programme.
The Dementia Commissioning Pack helps commissioners focus on patient outcomes and aims to improve the cost-effectiveness of services comprehensively, i.e. from early diagnosis to end-of-life care.
Commissioners are being asked to ensure GPs review the 180,000 patients with dementia taking antipsychotic drugs with a view to reducing the harm from inappropriate prescribing. CCGs are also required to sign up the “call to action” from the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA).
The Alzheimer’s Society has supplied patient information leaflets which inform patients and carers what to expect from services.
Integrated Dementia Services
There is to be better integration of dementia services between the NHS, social care and local government. CCGs will have to collaborate with social care and health and wellbeing boards on dementia services, and report progress to the Joint Strategy for Health and Wellbeing. The Dementia Toolkit explains how CCGs will be accountable to national outcomes frameworks in the NHS, adult social care and public health.
These broad improvements were called for by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia which recently reported that better quality commissioning could improve the lives of people with dementia and realise long-term savings across the health and social care sectors.
Robinson, S. (2011). Dementia toolkit for GP commissioners aims to improve quality and cut costs. GP Online, July 22nd 2011.