NICE aims to improve commissioning of dementia care

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued a guide to support the commissioning of high-quality, evidence-based care of people who have dementia.

There are around 630,000 people in England living with dementia, however due to longer life expectancy this number is expected to double by 2035. Carers and other family members of people with dementia are often older and frail themselves, with high levels of depression, physical illness, and a diminished quality of life. It is estimated that dementia costs the English economy about £20 billion every year and that this will increase to over £27 billion by 2018.

The NICE support for commissioning dementia care provides practical advice for commissioners to improve the integration of health and social care. This will help ensure that more people with dementia receive an early diagnosis and can access the care and support that they, and their carers, need to live well and independently with dementia for as long as possible.

The support for commissioning will help commissioners achieve the outcomes set out in the clinical commissioning group outcomes indicator set and other national health and social care outcomes frameworks.

Dr Jill Rasmussen, Clinical Champion for Dementia, Royal College of GPs, said: "Although much has been done since the publication of the 2009 National Dementia Strategy for England to improve the health and social care support for people with dementia and their carers, the recent Update Report on dementia from the Care Quality Commission indicates there is clearly still much to do.

"Sadly, the number of people with dementia is steadily increasing and so are the challenges we face in ensuring that people with dementia and their carers are able to live as well as they possibly can with their condition. This support for commissioning covers the full breadth of social, medical and psychological treatment and care for people with dementia and their carers, from early detection through to end of life that commissioners need to consider if they are to meet that challenge."

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