A National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) “Signal” expert commentary refers to research indicating that almost one fifth of people with dementia have other serious conditions, such as stroke and diabetes, whereas current services are not typically aligned to provide adequate integrated care.
People with dementia are less likely to receive diabetes checks or cataract surgery than those without dementia, for example. Carers tend not to be contacted and involved routinely. There is reported to be a general lack of guidance for health professionals about best practice in the handling of persons with multiple conditions.
The author of this commentary recommends:
“ …asking people with dementia, at first health contact for a new problem, for permission to share information with particular family members… Most people give permission while they have the decisional capacity”. Gill Livingston.
Livingston, G. (2016). Coordinating care for people with long term conditions and dementia: room for improvement. [Online]: National Institute for Health Research Signal, May 26th 2016.
This relates to:
Bunn, F. Burn, AM. [and] Goodman, C. [et al] (2016). Comorbidity and dementia: a mixed-method study on improving health care for people with dementia (CoDem). Health Service Delivery Research. February 2016; 4(8). (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
Aitsi-Selmi, A. (2014). Comorbidities: a framework of principles for system-wide action. London: Department of Health; with NHS England and Public Health England (PHE), April 25th 2014.
Possibly also of interest, the following article discusses pilots aiming to establish truly integrated care and remove remaining barriers preventing patients from getting fast and easy access to different types of care (i.e. social, physical and mental health care):
Full Text Link (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).
O’Dowd, A. (2016). Home run for integrated primary care? BMJ. May 26th 2016; 353: i2922.