Online map lays bare postcode lottery of dementia care
New interactive map has revealed wide inequalities in care for people with dementia in England.
Wide inequalities in the standards of care for people with dementia in England have been revealed in a new interactive map.
The best and worst performing areas for dementia prevention and care in England have been revealed by the Department of Health’s new Dementia Atlas, which shows regional disparities in the quality of diagnosis and support on offer.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said tackling the disease was a key government priority and the publication of the data is intended to drive improvements across the country.
The online map highlights regional differences in areas including follow-up care, emergency admission rates and place of death.
- In Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), less than 50% of patients had their care reviewed face to face in the preceding 12 months, compared with almost 80% in Cumbria – both counties have about 5,000 diagnosed patients with dementia.
- More than 5,600 patients per 100,000 aged over 65 in Knowsley CCG have been admitted as an emergency inpatient whereas Basingstoke’s comparative figure is 2,106.
Actor becomes dementia ambassador
The Dementia Atlas was launched as Mr Hunt and the Alzheimer’s Society appointed actor Carey Mulligan, whose grandmother has Alzheimer’s, as the first UK Global Dementia Friends Ambassador.
It is hoped the appointment will renew focus on the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme, where volunteers are able to attend free sessions to learn how to spot the signs of dementia and offer support for those affected.
Nurse academic and dementia expert June Andrews said the inequalities revealed in the Dementia Atlas were ‘unsurprising’, because she had heard similar stories from the families of people with dementia.
Expert calls for better funding allocation
Professor Andrews, author of Dementia: The One-Stop Guide, said healthcare providers needed to analyse what they were doing with their funding.
‘They need to focus their attention on what makes the biggest difference,’ she said.
‘There’s no point in a nurse even spending an hour learning how to be a dementia friend if they do not know a person who has dementia.’
Mr Hunt said: ‘By publishing the current levels of care, we are shining a spotlight on areas where there is still work to be done, whilst highlighting where we can learn from best practice.’