It has been reported elsewhere that 80% of residents in care homes may have dementia, and that there may still be over-prescription of antipsychotics in these settings to control challenging behaviour. The Barbican Consensus presents a general agreement, arrived at in a meeting organised by NHS England, the CQC and Care England, concerning the main issues to be tackled for achieving improvements care and support for people with dementia in care homes.
The main themes concern improving diagnosis and care planning for post-diagnostic support. There is also an emphasis on staff education, training and development programmes to ensure residents with dementia, and their families, are treated with respect, dignity and compassion.
Further topics cover the importance of good environmental design, person-centred care, encouragement of meaningful activity and social interaction, and medication reviews. Medication reviews promise to reduce overuse of antipsychotics and so improve the quality of life in people with dementia and reduce mortality rates.
Models of Enhanced Health in Care Homes
Insights arising from the Care Home Vanguards (new models of care) programme suggest there is also potential for improvement from “innovative partnerships, use of technology, making the most of local assets, in reach services… [and] focusing on residents’ capabilities”.
Optimising care and support for people with dementia in care homes: The Barbican Consensus – Professor Alistair Burns and James Cross. London: NHS England, December 23rd 2015.
Some earlier, related, commentaries on care home care in dementia from the same author:
GPs have a vital care home dementia role – Alistair Burns. [Online]: NHS England, January 29th 2015.
Don’t let care home residents slip through the dementia net – Alistair Burns. [Online]: NHS England, December 18th 2014.
Statistics on Challenging Behaviour (Generally) in Care Homes
There were 1,200 assaults between residents living at care homes recorded between 2014 and 2016.
Forde, E. (2014). Assaults between care home residents reported daily. London: BBC Health News / BBC Radio Four File on 4, May 23rd 2017.