NICE have issued warnings over poor dementia care, and set basic standards of care.
They have found that some dementia sufferers do not even receive basic levels of care, and need to live in housing that suits their needs with access to activities and the community.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have said that the care for dementia sufferers is very varied as to whether standards are met.
The health officials have released a set of basic standards that all patients should be able to expect from their care, as a way to enforce was should already be happening.
The new guide lines say that dementia sufferers should live in housing which meets their needs, they should be able to participate in leisure activities and should be able to maintain their involvement with their local communities.
The guidance, the first under Nice’s new social care remit set out under the Health and Social Care Act which came into force on Monday, also says that carers and service providers should ensure that patients have access to routine physical and mental health check ups.
NICE’s deputy chief executive and director of health and social care Professor Gillian Leng, said:
The general picture is that care is patchy. We know that it is really good in places but it’s not consistent so that’s what we want to be able to achieve with the quality standards is consistent, clear advice.
My personal view is that we are all playing catch up because the numbers of people with dementia has been increasing so dramatically – it is related to the ageing population.
We are just needing now to come to terms with the services that we are meant to be providing to support people – the quality standards will help shape that by providing clarity to some things that would be obvious but they are not necessarily in place at the moment.
George McNamara, head of policy and public affairs at the Alzheimer’s Society, said:
Whilst many people receive excellent quality care, too often standards are falling short and people are being denied the quality of life they deserve. It’s a welcome step that Nice are recognising the need to raise standards and have prioritised dementia as needing a benchmark for what good quality care should look like.
These standards will be a useful tool for the care sector and show what people with dementia and carers should be able to expect. But, as they are not mandatory, it’s a case of wait and see as to whether this guidance will drive real change or just sit on the shelf.