The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has today issued guidelines to improve the quality of life for people with complex care needs.
NICE has called for health and social care services to work together more closely and ensure that older people with multiple long-term conditions are involved in planning their own care. The guideline also includes specific recommendations to ensure that care plans are developed in collaboration with GPs and other care providers, such as community pharmacists, physiotherapists, and mental health workers.
Alzheimer’s Society research shows that three quarters of people living with dementia also have another long-term health condition. There are around 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia, and 70% of people living in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems.
George McNamara, Director of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society said: “The current system doesn’t work for an ageing population and must urgently change. In the UK alone, by 2020 there will be more than seven million people aged over 60 living with more than one long-term condition. The fragmented nature of health and social care means that it is far too easy, and common, for vulnerable people to fall between the cracks.
“Dementia is one of the leading causes of disability later in life, and one that has a significant impact on how other health conditions are managed. We hope that this new guidance will help us to move towards one system that works for people living with dementia and their carers.”