Alzheimer's Disease: Social Services

Department of Health written question – answered on 11th June 2015.

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Photo of Richard Burden Richard Burden Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to improve the provision of social care for people with Alzheimer's disease.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Government is clear that all types of dementia which includes Alzheimer’s disease remain a priority and will implement the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020 in full to make sure that dementia care, support, awareness and research are transformed by 2020.

The 2020 Challenge set the following aspirations to improve the provision of social care for people with dementia by 2020:

- Newly appointed healthcare assistants and social care support workers, including those providing care and support to people with dementia and their carers, having undergone training as part of the national implementation of the Care Certificate, with the Care Quality Commission asking for evidence of compliance with the Care Certificate as part of their inspection regime. An expectation that social care providers provide appropriate training to all other relevant staff.

- All relevant social care staff working with adults and older people accessing social care services being supported to spot the early signs and symptoms of dementia and helping people with the condition to access high quality care and support.

- A clear evidence base for what works in training on dementia for health and social care staff, which can be used to develop smarter education and training programmes.

This builds on the progress already made under the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2012-2015. This includes over 100,000 social care workers having already received some form of dementia awareness training. Moreover, the Department funded the College of Social Work to develop guidance to improve the quality of practice and inform continuous professional development (CPD) for social workers, to enable high quality care and support for people with dementia and their carers.

Expenditure on adult social care and the future demand for services will be reviewed as part of the Spending Review.

This year, the Better Care Fund will provide £5.3 billion of investment in better integrated care, based on joint plans that have been developed locally, and putting resources where the local NHS and social services think it is needed.

Spending on social care is ultimately a local decision made by individual councils.

The Care Act 2014 also came into force on 1 April 2015. The Act consolidates legislation into a single statute building on a series of recommendations for reform from the Law Commission. It also places much existing best practice in the care and support sector into law for the first time – including personalisation, preventative approaches, consistency of access, and support for carers.

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