There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK at a cost of approximately £26 billion per year. By 2025 it is estimated that there will be over one million people with this condition with the costs expected to more than double to £55bn. Dementia UK: (2014)
Historically, fewer than half the people with dementia receive a formal diagnosis. Figures in Lancashire are similar to the nationwide picture with only 43% of people actually diagnosed with dementia against the estimated prevalence of the disease. It is clear that there are significantly more people in Lancashire living with dementia that we do not know about, than those that are known to health and social care. It is estimated that 17,600 people living in Lancashire have dementia (Lancashire QIPP Draft Case for Change 2011).
There are around 540,000 carers of people with dementia in England. It is estimated that one in three people will care for a person with dementia in their lifetime. Half of them are employed and it’s thought that some 66,000 people have already cut their working hours to care for a family member, whilst 50,000 people have left work altogether.
Many patients with dementia will be admitted to hospital and it is known from national data that this has a negative impact on patient outcomes when compared to an individual of the same age without this condition, for example:
◾Increased length of stay
◾Increased likelihood of ongoing long term support
Dementia is a key priority for both NHS England and the Government. In February 2015 the Prime Minister launched his Challenge on Dementia 2020,
to build on the achievements of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2012-2015
Some of the key aspirations of this vision are:
- Equal access to diagnosis for everyone
- GPs playing a lead role in ensuring coordination and continuity of care for people with dementia
- Every person diagnosed with dementia having meaningful care following their diagnosis
- All NHS staff having received training on dementia appropriate to their role.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has produced Clinical Guidelines for dementia care including
Dementia: supporting people with dementia and their carers in health and social care CG42 (2006), and Dementia, disability and frailty in later life – mid-life approaches to delay or prevent onset (NG16) 2015.
It has also produced quality standards Dementia: independence and wellbeing (QS30) 2013, and Dementia: support in health and social care (QS1) 2010.
At a Lancashire level an expert reference group (level 3 QIPP) has been established and is currently developing a dementia case for change, colleagues from the Trust are involved in this work.