Dementia: Health Services

Department of Health written question – answered on 16th June 2015.

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Photo of Greg Mulholland Greg Mulholland Liberal Democrat, Leeds North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what support and guidance is available from his Department and NHS England for families and carers of people with dementia.

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

The Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020 aims that every person with a diagnosis of dementia, their family and their carer should have access to the advice and information on the care and support available to them locally and how this can be accessed.

The Challenge would like to see, by 2020, more carers of people with dementia being made aware of and offered the opportunity for respite, education, training, emotional and psychological support so that they feel able to cope with their caring responsibilities and to have a life alongside caring. The Challenge would also like to see more employers having carer friendly policies and practice enabling more carers to continue working and caring.

The Department contributed to the funding of the Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘Dementia Guide’, designed to help guide people with dementia and their carers through their journey with dementia. The Guide provides useful information for carers, following a diagnosis of dementia, and includes advice to help people understand a diagnosis of dementia to enable them to live well with the condition.

There are various resources supported by the Department and NHS England that can be accessed by families and carers. For example the Dementia Roadmap (a web based platform developed by the Royal College of Practitioners) provides high quality information about the dementia journey alongside local information about services, support groups and care pathways, primarily to assist primary care staff to more effectively support people with dementia, their families and carers.

NHS England’s 2015/16 Dementia Enhanced Service encourages general practitioner practices to increase the health and wellbeing support offered to carers of patients diagnosed with dementia.

The Department is supporting the Dementia Action Alliance’s Carers Call to Action and the establishment of a new involvement network for family carers of people with dementia.

Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities have a responsibility to assess carer’s eligible needs for support. This will mean more carers, including carers of people with dementia, are able to have an assessment, comparable to the right of the people they care for, and a support plan setting out how their needs will be met.

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