One of the ambitions specified in the “Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia” (March 2012) was to improve dementia diagnosis rates. NHS England is to invest £90 million to ensure two-thirds of people with dementia receive a timely diagnosis, by March 2015. It is intended that the average waiting time for an assessment for dementia from GP referral can be brought down to 6 weeks in all areas of England; in some areas this wait can still last up to 25 weeks.
The Department of Health has a linked ambition to provide a fully integrated care package to support people diagnosed with dementia and their carers. The components of the plan will, broadly, comprise:
- Timely assessment and diagnosis.
- Help and advice, for example from a dementia advisor.
- A personalised plan of care.
- Support to remain as independent as possible.
- Access to high-quality person-centred information to help understand and manage the condition.
- Access to support services (possibly including reminiscence or counselling).
- Coordinated care towards the end of life.
- Improved access to support for carers.
- Integrated care from health and social care professionals working together to provide the best care and support.
Improving dementia diagnosis. London: Department of Health / Dementia Challenge, February 28th 2014.