[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 3, October 2011].
Early diagnosis and intervention for dementia is one of the Government’s four key priorities for improving dementia care. The NHS Operating Framework 2011/12 specifies that people with dementia and their carers should be provided with help to understand the range and quality of local services.
The Department of Health is allocating £10 million to bring about a transformation in how people with dementia are treated by the NHS. The aim is to improve the provision of advice and support for memory services, with better information about local care and support services.
A letter has been distributed about the £10m extra funding support to social care via Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) for memory services. The letter clarifies the Government’s expectations on PCTs and local authorities (LAs) concerning how this money should be spent.
The recent audit established that memory services for dementia exist across most of England. The £10m additional funding is to support the provision of good services across the whole country. Details of the allocations to individual PCTs, which should be duly transferred to local authorities, are stated explicitly in Annex A of this letter. Each local authority will receive at least £25,000 in total.
PCTs and local authorities are required to agree appropriate areas for investment in memory services and the expected local outcomes. Examples of suitable local services might include:
- Provision of advice and support.
- Information about local care and support services.
- Follow-up and review of services.
- Peer support.
- Assessment of carers’ needs.
- Advice and support on planning for the future.
Decisions about how this funding is used should reflect the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for local populations and should be integrated with existing commissioning plans for health and social care.
The National Audit Office, in its National Audit of Dementia Services, has long been critical of the lack of hard data to monitor progress in developing services. PCTs and local authorities are expected to be accountable, to cooperate, and to use processes which are transparent, efficient and integrated.
Behan, D. and Flory, D. (2011). NHS support for social care: provision of support for memory services. (Letter to Chief Executives of Strategic Health Authorities, Primary Care Trusts, Primary Care Clusters, Local Authorities and Directors of Adult Social Services). London: Department of Health, September 15th 2011. (Dementia Gateway Reference: no.16406).