NICE contributes to national dementia strategy
The first-ever national strategy on dementia draws heavily on recommendations made in joint guidance published by NICE and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). It also points readers to NICE's commissioning guide on memory assessment services and promotes our associated audit tools.
Now the two organisations are helping the Department of Health (DH) to produce tools to aid roll-out of the strategy.
About 700,000 people in the UK have dementia - this is estimated to rise to 1.4 million by 2038. Currently only about a third of them are properly diagnosed. People with the condition have problems thinking clearly, remembering things, communicating and doing everyday tasks like cooking or getting dressed. They may get depressed and may be aggressive.
‘Living well with dementia: a national dementia strategy' was launched by the DH in February. It aims to increase awareness of the condition, ensure early diagnosis and treatment and “radically improve” the quality of care available.
As part of the strategy, everyone with the condition could have their own personal dementia adviser, as well as help to live in their own home for as long as possible. Dementia specialists could also be made available in every general hospital and care home.
The 5-year national strategy reflects many of the recommendations made in the NICE and SCIE clinical guideline, ‘Dementia: supporting people with dementia and their carers in health and social care' (CG42).
It also picks up on many of the major themes set out in NICE's commissioning guide, ‘Memory assessment service for the early identification and care of people with dementia'.
Since the launch of the strategy, NICE has been closely involved with the DH's Joint Commissioning Framework Advisory Group which is developing resources to help implement the strategy nationwide. These include a joint commissioning framework which has a document produced by NICE and SCIE listing the relevant supporting tools and guidance on offer from both organisations.
The framework, which will be launched in early Spring, will give health and social care services advice on how they should work together to provide effective services.
Meanwhile this month [April], NICE is launching ‘Dementia: the use of medication for non-cognitive symptoms, behaviour that challenges and behaviour control'. This tool will help organisations review and monitor whether medication for people with dementia is being used as recommended in our guideline.
It was produced in response to an All-Party Parliamentary Group report published last year (‘Always a last resort: inquiry into the prescription of antipsychotic drugs to people with dementia living in care homes' ).
Jenny Owen, Director of Adults, Health and Community Wellbeing, Essex County Council and Co-Chair of the National Dementia Strategy said : “The joint NICE/SCIE dementia guideline was one of the cornerstone documents that we used in developing the national dementia strategy. I am sure it will continue to assist staff when implementing the recommendations of the strategy.”
Claire Goodchild, National Programme Manager (Delivery) - Dementia at the DH,described NICE's contribution to the Advisory Group as “invaluable”.
“Commissioning services to support people with dementia and their carers is a wide-ranging and complex task. At the same time as encouraging innovation, commissioners need to know the evidence base for the services they commission.
“NICE has provided an easy access guide to evidence that commissioners - and ultimately people with dementia and their carers - will benefit from hugely.”
For examples of good practice on dementia, see our shared learning database (Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust) at: www.nice.org.uk/usingguidance/sharedlearningimplementingniceguidance/
Issued: 14 April 2009
This page was last updated: 11 May 2010