The charity are keen to see every person diagnosed with dementia supported by a specialist adviser.
A new report carried out by the Department of Health which investigated the number of dementia advisers has led to the Alzheimer’s Society stressing the importance of them for providing information and support to those affected.
The report found 91% of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)* and local authorities had a dementia adviser service, with areas in the south of the country more likely to have the most advisers per person with dementia, than areas in the north and London. The north of England, however, had the highest case load, with an average of 186 patients for every adviser, compared to 88 patients in London.
Dementia adviser services include signposting to other dementia services, training and advice for carers, and advocacy to help patients get services such as home adaptations.
‘What this report shows is that dementia advisers are absolutely vital to help people with dementia to live well with the condition,’ says George McNamara, head of integrated care at the Alzheimer’s Society.
Adviser services can save health and social services in the long run by reducing unnecessary hospital and care home admissions, and it’s something that the Alzheimer’s Society are very keen to stress in their Right To Know campaign. One of the requests they want as part of the campaign is for everyone to have access to dementia advisers, and for people to have the same dementia adviser throughout the progression of their illness.
They’re also looking for improved diagnosis rates and for all patients to receive a diagnosis within 10 weeks.
The report found CCGs are spending more on commissioning dementia adviser services than local authorities, but this was because they were more expensive.
For more information on the Alzheimer’s Society Right To Know Campaign, click here.
* Clinical commissioning groups were created following the Health and Social Care Act in 2012, and replaced Primary Care Trusts on 1 April 2013. CCGs are clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area.