Thursday 23 November 2017
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Alzheimers Society responds to publication of new ratings for CCGs

58% of Clinical Commissioning Groups need to improve dementia care in their area.

This is according to the new Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Improvement and Assessment Framework which has been published today (Wednesday 7 September) by NHS England.

The framework makes annual assessments of CCGs in six clinical priority areas: cancer, dementia, diabetes, learning disabilities, maternity and mental health. 

This year’s assessment of dementia assesses whether CCGs are meeting national target of 66.7% of people having a diagnosis of dementia in their area, and whether people with dementia are receiving annual reviews of their care plan in primary care. 

209 CCGs have received an overall rating for each of six clinical priority areas. The ratings for dementia (taking into account diagnosis rates and care plan reviews) were as follows: 

The new framework has a strong focus on improvement - with those CCGs requiring improvement offered support by NHS and partners. Alzheimer’s Society is doing its utmost to support CCGs to ensure their services best meet the needs of people with dementia and will be arranging meetings with dementia commissioners across the country. 

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said: 

'Over the last few years our health system has made strides to improve dementia diagnosis rates, but with 45% of CCGs still lagging behind the national ambition, there is a significant way to go. 

'People with dementia in York should be getting the same support as those in Bradford – but with diagnosis rates varying by as much as 46.1% across the country, too many people remain in the dark, unable to access the vital information, treatments and non-medical support a diagnosis can bring.

'Given the progressive nature of dementia, which means a person’s needs become more severe over time, the focus on care plan reviews is essential. However, a care plan review must be matched with support on the ground and measures should develop to assess how meaningful these plans are. 

'This is only a starting point. We need a more comprehensive assessment to measure all important areas of dementia care, and welcome promised plans to do so from next year. 

'This should help CCGs learn from each other and drive improvements supported by NHS England, rather than being performance managed.'

Dr Jennifer Bute, Former GP and person living with dementia who sat on the advisory panel for the CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework, said:

'While it’s great that the CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework considers whether someone with dementia has had a review of their care plan, it tells us nothing about the quality of this review. Unless all aspects of a person’s health and wellbeing are looked at, and the right treatment and support is found to meet these needs and aspirations, the review can be of limited impact. It’s important that the framework considers this in the future to ensure the review is meaningful.'