What’s happened during the last month?
1. Our reference group met for the second time on January 12th and gave us valuable feedback on the draft specification for Timely Diagnosis and Interventions. There was broad agreement on the overall specification but some areas need greater clarification, for example the timeline, interaction with other quality systems and referral points in addition to the GP. The group also agreed that the specification will need to reflect:
- Current guidance on confidentiality and information sharing; it is particularly important for people with dementia that carers are included in assessments and planning meetings;
- Age inclusivity;
- The needs of urban and rural communities; and
- The whole pack as a resource of which this is one domain.
2. We have commissioned Innovations in Dementia to help us involve people with dementia in developing the first specification and the information leaflet to accompany the pack, in addition to including people with dementia in the reference group. Innovations in Dementia have a national network of people with dementia and are already working with us to support members of our Implementation Reference Group for the NDS.
3. After extensive deliberation, we have decided to tackle general hospital care as the second domain. We have concluded that community personal support needs a different approach and that this domain is better approached from the particular focus of integrated commissioning, rather than service specifications. Hospital care is also very timely given the recent national reports of the poor experience of people with dementia in hospital.
We have added to our team of specialists for this domain:
- Deborah Sturdy Nurse advisor for older people in the department of health
- Rachel Thompson Dementia Lead, Royal College of Nursing
- John Holmes Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, University of Leeds
4. Three SHAs – NW, SW and Yorkshire and Humber – have agreed to help us with implementing the pack. We are meeting them in February to get their ideas on how to promote the pack and discuss what support would be most useful.
5. The project team has met with economist colleagues to start costing the specification for timely diagnosis and interventions. This information will enable commissioners to understand the cost of the service at a per patient level and understand how much they should expect to pay for the service based on expected activity.
What happens next?
The last bulletin generated several responses and offers of help which are really useful. If you have any local examples of practice which we can include in the pack, particularly in relation to Timely Diagnosis or General Hospital Care, or the more cross cutting issues highlighted above, please get in touch.
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