Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has launched a new interactive online map to show members of the public the quality of dementia care and support in their local area.
Currently, 670,000 people in England live with dementia, and this number is set to double in the next 30 years. An estimated 21 million people in England have a close friend or family member with dementia.
The UK is fighting back against dementia domestically and in the run-up to the G8 will lead on co-ordinated international action to beat dementia.
The map is part of a landmark ‘state of the nation’ report which shines a light on the quality of dementia care in England. It will show a regional and local picture, based on a range of data including:
• Diagnosis rates
• How often anti-psychotic drugs are prescribed to patients
• Referral rates for further investigation
By entering their postcode into the interactive map people will be able to see this data in a way that’s easy to understand and in an accessible format. This will give the public the information they need to hold organisations to account over poor services and it will highlight areas that are performing well as examples of best practice. This will help drive up standards across the country.
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said:
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.
We must come together as a society to get better at fighting dementia. We all have a role to play in helping people manage dementia better and supporting them to lead healthier lives.
While there has been a slight increase nationally in the diagnosis rate from 46 per cent in 2011/12 to 48 per cent in 2012/13, the diagnosis rate varies across the country from 39 per cent in the worst performing areas to 75 per cent in the best.
Some of the achievements highlighted in the report include:
• Dementia research: Since 2009/10, government funded dementia research has almost doubled, from £28.2million to £52.2million in 2012/13.
• Access to memory clinics: The number of people being assessed by memory clinics has risen four-fold since 2010/11, with just under half of the people diagnosed with dementia over the past 12 months as being in the early stages of the condition.
• Staff training: Health Education England have already trained over 108,000 NHS staff to spot the early symptoms of dementia, learn how to interact with those with dementia and signpost staff to the most appropriate care.
• More dementia friendly trusts: Since October 2012, over 160 trusts have committed to being dementia friendly