In response to the Prime Minister's recent plans to make the UK a world leader on dementia issues, “The Dementia Health and Care Champion Group” has been formed.
The group brings together representatives from the health sector, social care, local government and charities to specifically tackle issues surrounding dementia care and improved services for both people with dementia and their care network.
Broad areas identified in need of improvement include; increasing dementia diagnosis, giving people with dementia access to high quality services, and establishing memory services across the entire country.
In addition, the group is responsible for specific actions in line with the Prime Ministers challenge, to bring real change by improving end life care for people with dementia; improving housing and social care accommodation, supporting people living at home with dementia and reducing the inappropriate use of antipsychotic medication.
The group will work with social care services, local government organisations and the NHS to effect these ground level changes.
The Dementia Health and Care Champion Group, co-chaired by Sarah Pickup, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and Sir Ian Carruthers OBE, Chief Executive of NHS South of England, held its first meeting on April 30, 2012.
Speaking at the meeting, Sarah Pickup said: “There can be few more important challenges than helping people with dementia live their lives with dignity and ensuring they have access to the right kinds of quality to support and care.”
Also commenting, Sir Ian Carruthers OBE added: “I am looking forward to working with health and social care services and with service users and carers to identity the actions necessary to meet the challenge of the Prime Minister and ensure that people in all parts of the country experience the top quality care which is already delivered in some places.”
In England, 670,000 people have dementia and the number of people developing the disease is increasing. One in three people will develop dementia in their lives and it costs society an estimated £19 billion a year.
In addition to his vision for major improvements in dementia care, the Prime Minister laid out plans to also improve dementia awareness and dementia research by 2015.
The three “Champion Groups” established to lead the work on each strand will report on progress to the Prime Minister in September 2012 and again in March 2013.
Written by Gary Brockwell
Department of Health, http://mediacentre.dh.gov.uk/2012/04/30/transforming-health-and-social-care-for-people-with-dementia/