Living well with dementia: A National Dementia Strategy (DH, 2009) includes an objective of improved end of life care for people with dementia. It suggests that to meet that objective ‘local work on end of life care needs to focus on the large numbers of people who will die with dementia’ and makes reference to the End of Life Care Strategy: delivering high quality care for adults at the end of life (DH, 2008). This guide maps out some of the priorities for achieving high quality care for adults with dementia at the end of life.
The End of Life Care Strategy: quality markers and measures for end of life care (DH, 2009) was published to support commissioners and providers in delivering improvements in care. As with the Strategy they accompany, the markers and measures are generic and apply to care across end of life care. The end of life care quality markers already provide detailed structure and process markers and measures which will be relevant for end of life care for people with dementia.
There are, however, particular points of consideration for end of life care for people affected by dementia. This document, therefore, aims to focus on dementia specific priorities which might otherwise be lost if looking at the quality markers from across the whole of end of life care. It does not offer alternative quality markers or measures but aims to support the implementation of the generic set in a manner that recognises issues arising from dementia.
The document outlines seven headings for quality markers for end of life care aimed at commissioners and mapped these against areas of priority from a dementia perspective. There are several resources already available which impact on some of the priorities for dementia and end of life care. The document also includes sources of further information or support to help bring together many of these relevant documents.