Well. What a day!
I’m on my way back from London after co-chairing the morning session of the GovConnect dementia conference, Towards 2020.
It seems to have become an annual thing, revisiting the progress made towards achieving the targets in the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge.
As one wag said, the platform speakers were OBEs and MBEs and a senior civil servant, in the main. Policy makers and performance inspectors.
Apparently all sorts of good things are happening around the country, across charities and councils.
NHS England has toolkits for CCGs to use to assess the quality of their dementia provision, and to improve it where its poor.
CQC find that around 80% of care homes are good or outstanding.
89% of emergency A&E admissions aged over 75 are asked a question to assess their cognitive status, within three days of admission. (When they are really fit and healthy and oriented.)
67% of those calculated to have dementia have been diagnosed. (They forgot that only 20% of those under 65 have a diagnosis.)
We have over 300 registered dementia friendly communities. (Oops, I meant registered as working towards…)
“Its very clear that progress is being made across all of the elements in the Dementia Challenge”, said the civil servant.
I was beginning to feel like a bystander at a groundhog Easter Day service.
All is well with the world. We are doing well. We’re doing great things.
I’ve heard most of it before.
Grand words and empty statements.
At the start I asked speakers to give us evidence of what was happening. Not just tell us grand statements. Evidence. Measures.
So we got the diagnosis rate, and the CQC figures.
We did not get any CQC evidence about the quality of dementia care provided in these good care homes, because they don’t inspect and report on that. It’s not in their five domains.
We didn’t get the number of people who receive worthwhile, personalised support after diagnosis.
We didn’t get the number of those emergency admissions that were assessed and referred on for assessment, appropriately.
Because the data isn’t being collected. It must be out there, but no one is looking.
We were told that 100,000 staff (somewhere?) have done Tier 2 training. And that everyone whose role has regular contact with people living with dementia should have done the Tier 2 training.
Over a million people work in the NHS alone. Add other care staff around the country. Say 1.5 million? We should get there by 2040.
Meanwhile, many people living with dementia and receiving care in the NHS or Care Homes or at home are getting lousy care. And many carers are getting no support.
So how are we getting on?
I think you know what I think. And I think I know what you think.
If they asked us we’d tell them. But that would be a little too uncomfortable, wouldn’t it?