Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are failing to provide adequate levels of health and social care for over half of people living with dementia.
A report that has provided Ofsted-style ratings for clinical commissioning groups (which were previously known as primary care trusts and are responsible for commissioning health care services in your local area) claims many are failing to provide adequate support and care for people with dementia.
It was discovered that 57% of health boards give inadequate care with many elderly patients never receiving an official dementia diagnosis, and those that do, not receiving an annual check-up of their illness or their care plan.
Each of England’s 209 CCGs were rated either ‘top performing’, ‘performing well’, ‘needs improvement’ or ‘greatest need for improvement’.
For dementia care, 57% of CCGs were in the bottom two categories. There was also large variation in areas with many dubbing it a ‘postcode lottery’ for care. So areas such as the Vale of York, South Norfolk and Herefordshire, as few as 54% of people living with dementia receive a formal diagnosis. However, in Birmingham South and Central, Central Manchester and Bradford City, between 98% and 89% of people get an official diagnosis.
NHS guidelines state that every patients with dementia should have at least one face-to-face meeting a year to have their care plan reviewed.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said:
‘People with dementia in York should be getting the same support as those in Bradford – but with diagnosis rates varying by as much as 46.1% across the country, too many people remain in the dark, unable to access the vital information, treatments and non-medical support a diagnosis can bring.
‘Given the progressive nature of dementia, which means a person’s needs become more severe over time, the focus on care plan reviews is essential. However, a care plan review must be matched with support on the ground and measures should develop to assess how meaningful these plans are.
‘This is only a starting point. We need a more comprehensive assessment to measure all important areas of dementia care, and welcome promised plans to do so from next year.
‘This should help CCGs learn from each other and drive improvements supported by NHS England, rather than being performance managed.’
If you would like to see how your local CCG has performed, click here then enter your nearest town or postcode, click the tab next to it and select ‘Better Care’ under the CCGs subheading. On the new page, click the tab called ‘Metric Group’ and select ‘Dementia’.
Sources: dailymail.co.uk and alzheimers.org.uk