This consensus statement confirms that appropriate post diagnostic support is essential and probably the most important component of all aspects of care for people with dementia.
The benefits of a timely, high quality diagnosis of dementia for patients, their families and carers, where appropriate, are compelling. Diagnosis is not an end in itself, but a gateway to making informed personal life choices. It should provide access to a full range of treatment options (medical and psycho-social), and, importantly, appropriate post diagnostic support and services.
While there are many examples of excellent practice, there is regional variation across England and people with dementia, their families and carers, wherever they live, have the right to information that supports a timely diagnosis, enabling them to receive the best possible treatment, support and care.
In June 2013, a meeting brought together people living with dementia, clinicians and policy makers to debate the key issues around the diagnosis and support for people with dementia. The key outcome was a broad consensus that post diagnostic support was essential and probably the most important component of all aspects of their care.
Five complementary themes emerged with the suggestion that a group should be tasked with taking each forward:
- consideration of the enhanced service for dementia
- a national reference group to support Clinical Commissioning Groups on their local plans for dementia
- consideration of an information prescription
- review and scoping of the evidence base in dementia diagnosis, and
- prospects for prevention in vascular dementia.
It is planned to reconvene the Group to review progress in six months.