The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is to carry out focused inspections of 150 care homes and acute hospitals to review how people with dementia are cared for in England.
CQC will explore the care and support that these services provide for people with dementia and in doing so, draw common themes on what works well and what needs to improve on a national level.
The announcement came as the government hosted a G8 summit in London on developing coordinated global action to prevent, delay and effectively treat the condition.
David Behan, chief executive of the CQC said: "Six hundred and seventy thousand people in England are estimated to have dementia and the number is expected to double over the next three decades. We know that these people are often vulnerable because of their condition and can rely on a number of services across health and social care to support their physical, mental and social wellbeing.
"There is a real need to explore why people with dementia may not be receiving high quality care, as well as how the different services work together.
"This is the first time that CQC has undertaken a review, which specifically looks at the care services that people with dementia use and rely on. It will address the key issues that these people face, such as why admissions to hospital from care homes are higher for people who have dementia compared to those who do not have the condition.
"Our findings will draw conclusions on a national scale about what works well and where improvements are required."
Specifically, the inspections will focus on:
- how people living with dementia are supported to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing
- how effective care can reduce admissions to hospital from care homes and avoid unnecessarily lengthy stays
- how care services can work together when there is a need for people to move between services
All of CQC’s inspections will be unannounced. For every service inspected, CQC will publish a report detailing its judgments and any required improvements.
As well as this, CQC will publish a national report in May, which will highlight the key themes on a national level.
CQC wants to hear from people with dementia, or the relatives and friends of people with dementia, and their carers about their experiences, such as moving between hospitals and care homes (for both emergency and non-emergency admissions). These will inform part of the commentary for the national report.
People can take part via the CQC’s website – www.cqc.org.uk – or through Age UK, Dementia Action Alliance, Regional Voices, Dementia Advocacy Network and the Race Equality Foundation.