Navigation

Advice from NICE aims to improve commissioning of care for people with dementia

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has today (3 April) issued a guide to support the commissioning of high-quality, evidence-based care of people who have dementia.

Dementia can affect people of any age, but it is most common in older people. There are around 630,000 people in England living with dementia, however due to longer life expectancy this number is expected to double by 2035. Carers and other family members of people with dementia are often older and frail themselves, with high levels of depression, physical illness, and a diminished quality of life. It is estimated that dementia costs the English economy about £20 billion every year and that this will increase to over £27 billion by 2018.

The NICE support for commissioning dementia care provides practical advice for commissioners to improve the integration of health and social care. This will help ensure that more people with dementia receive an early diagnosis and can access the care and support that they, and their carers, need to live well and independently with dementia for as long as possible. The support for commissioning will help commissioners achieve the outcomes set out in the clinical commissioning group outcomes indicator set and other national health and social care outcomes frameworks.

Drawing on the NICE quality standards for dementia, the support for commissioning focuses on the following areas of care that can improve outcomes for patients and their carers:

  • Improving early intervention, assessment and diagnosis - over 50% of people with dementia never receive a diagnosis, which inhibits their access to health and social care services. By receiving an early diagnosis people can plan and receive treatment and care earlier, preventing future crises.
  • Supporting people to live well with dementia - increased investment in the identification of people with dementia has meant that greater numbers of people are being diagnosed with the condition, often at an early stage. By investing in services that support people to live well and independently with dementia, this can help prevent crises and in turn may avoid distressing hospital admissions and reduce the avoidable use of residential care.
  • Improving support for carers - this is a key component of the Prime Minister's challenge on dementia. There are around 670,000 people in the UK acting as primary carers for people with dementia and they save the economy millions each year. However, carers often need greater emotional, psychological and social support. .

The commissioning tool that accompanies this guide enables commissioners to show how well they are performing against a range of outcome measures that together demonstrate how well the whole system is working. Where data is available, the tool also demonstrates where improvements against outcome measures have prevented or reduced avoidable expenditure in the health and social care system.

Dr Jill Rasmussen, Clinical Champion for Dementia, Royal College of GPs, said: "Although much has been done since the publication of the 2009 National Dementia Strategy for England to improve the health and social care support for people with dementia and their carers, the recent Update Report on dementia from the Care Quality Commission indicates there is clearly still much to do. Sadly, the number of people with dementia is steadily increasing and so are the challenges we face in ensuring that people with dementia and their carers are able to live as well as they possibly can with their condition. This support for commissioning covers the full breadth of social, medical and psychological treatment and care for people with dementia and their carers, from early detection through to end of life that commissioners need to consider if they are to meet that challenge."

While the support for commissioning draws on existing NICE recommendations, it does not constitute formal NICE guidance and is intended as a tool to help the NHS improve patient care through effective commissioning.

Ends

Notes to Editors

References

About the dementia guide for commissioning

1. The NICE support for commissioning dementia care is available on the NICE website at Support for commissioners of dementia care

2. Commissioning in the NHS is the process by which health and care service providers decide how to spend their money most effectively to meet the needs of the population. It is a complex process with responsibilities ranging from assessing population needs and prioritising health outcomes, to procuring products and services and managing service providers.

3. The new social care dementia quality standard - Supporting people to live well with dementia - should be considered together with NICE's existing dementia quality standard (QS1, 2010). The two dementia quality standards relate to each other and should be read alongside each other to provide an integrated approach to health and social care for individuals with dementia.”

4. The new social care dementia quality standard focuses on the outcomes for people with dementia, such as supporting people to live independently and have choice and control. The 2010 dementia quality standard focuses more on the specific interventions to be carried out, and NICE has developed the new statements to complement the 2010 statements. NICE has aligned the quality statements from the 2010 and 2013 quality standards within NICE Pathways to reflect the importance of integrated health and social care for people living with dementia.

5. Details of all the NICE guides for commissioners published to date can be found on the NICE website

About NICE

6. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent body responsible for driving improvement and excellence in the health and social care system. We develop guidance, standards and information on high-quality health and social care. We also advise on ways to promote healthy living and prevent ill health.

7. Formerly the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, our name changed on 1 April 2013 to reflect our new and additional responsibility to develop guidance and set quality standards for social care, as outlined in the Health and Social Care Act (2012).

8. Our aim is to help practitioners deliver the best possible care and give people the most effective treatments, which are based on the most up-to-date evidence and provide value for money, in order to reduce inequalities and variation.

9. Our products and resources are produced for the NHS, local authorities, care providers, charities, and anyone who has a responsibility for commissioning or providing healthcare, public health or social care services.

To find out more about what we do, visit our website: www.nice.org.uk and follow us on Twitter: @NICEcomms.

This page was last updated: 02 April 2013

Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.

Selected, reliable information for health and social care in one place

Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.