New report from the Alzheimer’s Society makes recommendations for the commissioning of dementia services

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Mental health commissioners will be interested in this new report from the Alzheimer’s Society and MHP Health Mandate, that was published just before Christmas.  It follows on from the publication of the Department of Health’s Dementia Commissioning Pack back in July 2011.

The report looks at the current policy landscape and how it relates to dementia, with a view to making recommendations to Government and the NHS for how these challenges can be met. In discussing the integrated delivery of dementia care services, it outlines recommendations for Health and Wellbeing Boards and the role that they have to play in improving dementia care.

The report makes 20 recommendations:

Driving an integrated approach to dementia services

1. The Government should ensure improving the quality of care and outcomes for people with dementia continues to be a priority for the NHS and social care service

2. The Local Government Association should work with the Department of Health to develop guidance for local health and wellbeing boards on how to commission effective dementia services. This should be based on the principles of and objectives set out in the National Dementia Strategy

3. Health and wellbeing boards should ensure that local commissioning plans, Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies suitably prioritise dementia and promote integration between health and social care commissioners

4. Health and wellbeing boards should, where appropriate, include representation from a range of organisations that are responsible for the care of people with dementia, including dementia strategy implementation groups and housing providers

5. The Department of Health should develop clinical networks for dementia funded by the NHS Commissioning Board

6. Clinical networks should appoint a clinical lead for overseeing the delivery of dementia services in their locality

Delivering the information revolution for dementia care

7. The Department of Health should consider recommending that a Public Health Observatory takes the lead in working with the dementia sector to collect information on the needs of people with dementia which can help inform commissioning decisions

8. The Department of Health should work with stakeholders to develop a National Dementia Experience Survey to assess the experience of people with dementia

9. HealthWatch England should ensure that people with dementia are appropriately represented at both the national and local HealthWatch

Improving the funding arrangements for dementia services

10. The Department of Health should work across government to pilot new local authority multi-year budgets to encourage and deliver long term improvements in the commissioning of dementia services. Where benefits are going to be realised over a period of more than one year, commissioners should be able to recognise this as they would with other capital investment

11. The Department of Health should look to develop a model tariff for dementia which is location neutral so as to ensure funding follows the individual and allows commissioning decisions to be based on the needs of the individual

12. Health and wellbeing boards should promote the concept of pooled budgets between health and social care commissioners

13. Efficiency savings delivered through greater integration and pooled budgets should be re-invested in improving services for people with dementia

Commissioning on the basis of quality and user involvement

14. The Department of Health should work with stakeholders and the Dementia Action Alliance to develop outcome indicators for dementia for inclusion in the 2012/13 NHS Outcomes Framework, and 2012/13 Public Health and Adult Social Care Outcomes Frameworks

15. The NHS Commissioning Board should work with a range of stakeholders to support the development of the Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) indicators for dementia, announced in the NHS Operating Framework 2012/13, and these should look to incentivise providers to deliver high quality care for people

16. NICE should monitor and assess implementation of the dementia quality standard to ensure it is delivering improvements in patient care

17. The Care Quality Commission should ensure that providers meet agreed standards of care for people with dementia

18. Commissioners should use the tools and guidance provided in the Dementia Commissioning Pack to improve services for people with dementia, to reduce the use of inappropriate antipsychotic medication and put in place measures to assess their progress with this

19. The forthcoming Social Care White Paper should include plans for a national assessment framework for social care, including telecare

20. The Department of Health should continue with its public awareness campaign aimed at raising the profile of the early signs and symptoms of dementia

Common and complex: Commissioning effective dementia services in the new world (PDF). Alzheimer’s Society / MHP Health Mandate, 20 Dec 2011.

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