The Government has today (17 December) published their mandate to NHS England for 2016-17.
Priority areas include driving forward the integration of health and social care and improving out-of-hospital care; supporting people to live healthier lives; improving efficiency, productivity and access to NHS services seven days a week.
The mandate states that as part of the Prime Minister’s 2020 Dementias Challenge, it expects NHS England to make measureable improvements in the quality of care and support for people with dementia and to increase public awareness. This includes:
- maintaining a diagnosis rate of at least two thirds
- increasing the numbers of people receiving a dementia diagnosis within six weeks of a GP referral
- improving quality of post-diagnosis treatment and support for people with dementia and their carers.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Dementia is the biggest concern for older people today, so we welcome continued focus on it in today’s mandate to NHS England. However, while its good that diagnosis rates have improved, we shouldn’t be satisfied with maintaining the status quo. Everyone with dementia deserves a diagnosis so they can access vital information and support.
“Dementia is the litmus test for the success of the Government’s integration agenda – 850,000 people living with dementia require care from both the NHS and social care. The Spending Review additional funding will help, but there needs to be much greater transparency around how the Better Care Fund is used as, to date, there has been very limited engagement and public information on progress.
“We are pleased to be working with NHS England to shape the CCG assessment framework. It is essential this drives up quality and doesn’t add another layer of unnecessary bureaucracy.”