The map is part of the government’s ‘state of the nation’ report, which sets out what we currently know about dementia care and support across the country.
Members of the public can enter their postcode into the map and see how well their local services are doing to support people with dementia – it includes data on:
- How many people with dementia have had a formal diagnosis of their condition?
- How often are anti-psychotic drugs are prescribed to dementia patients?
- Are people with dementia more likely to die in hospital than similar patients without dementia?
As the map shows which areas are performing well and which are not, it highlights just how much he quality of care and support varies around the country. For example, diagnosis rates range from 39% to 75%, depending on where you live.
Alzheimer’s Society has called for an end of the ‘postcode lottery’. Chief Executive Jeremy Hughes said: “Depending on where you live you may be more or less likely to get a timely diagnosis of dementia and access to the support you need. This is simply unacceptable. Wherever you live, you should be entitled to care and support when you have Alzheimer’s disease or any form of dementia. It is a National Health Service. It is time to stop treating people with dementia as second class citizens.”
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt commented: “Dementia is one of the biggest challenges we face as a nation. This report and map will help drive up standards of dementia care across the country by showing what excellent care looks like, and challenging the rest to become like the best. Full transparency is the best way to drive up standards and tackle poor performance.”
NHS Innovation Challenge Prize for Dementia
The NHS Innovation Challenge Prize for Dementia was set up to identify and reward innovative approaches for dementia and last week judges awarded a share of £150,000 to three schemes from across the country.
The £80,000 top prize was awarded to Staffordshire’s ‘Memory First’ dementia initiative for its pioneering joined-up approach to care, which has cut diagnosis times from two and half years to four weeks and led to major improvements in patient experience.
Run by a consortium of 162 GPs across 41 practices in Staffordshire, the initiative also involved South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Mental Health Trust Foundation Trust, St Giles Hospice, Macmillan, Health Fabric – personalisation app, Mylife – reminiscence therapy and identity preservation, The Monthly Alzheimer’s Society Evening group and Staffordshire County Council.
Dr Ian Greaves who led the development of the Memory First service said: “With an ageing population the old models of dementia care are no longer sustainable. Keeping the patient under the responsibility of the GP, supported by secondary care expertise when needed, is a paradigm shift.”