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Dementia in Wiltshire - where are we?

July 6, 2011 9:53 AM

A task group set up by the WC Health committee has been looking at services for people with dementia in Wiltshire. Estimates of the number of people with the disease in the county range from 4,000 to over 6,000. If you're in the 40 - 65 age group you have one chance in 1400 of suffering from dementia, but that rises to one chance in six if you're over 85.

If current trends continue, then there will be an increase in the number of sufferers corresponding with longer average life spans.

The task group suggested there should be improvements in the way the disease was diagnosed and initially treated. A recent survey found Wiltshire rated 161st out of 169 council areas for speed of diagnosis of dementia. The group also said that the Care Quality Commission should be doing a better job of rating the quality of care homes specialising in looking after dementia patients. They were though keen that people should be given support to live at home for as long as possible.

The important work of the charity Alzheimers Support was recognised. Alzheimers Support have had their grant from WC cut by 10% this year.

Here's a summary of the task group's recommendations:

- Wiltshire councillors should be kept better informed of services for people living with dementia in their areas and how and where these can be accessed.
- The current care home ratings system, where homes are labelled only as 'compliant' or 'non-compliant', gives customers little indication of quality.
- The Task Group should have further updates on progress, including with the Wiltshire Dementia Quality Mark pilot project.

For the full report see http://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/mgConvert2Pdf.aspx?ID=15951&T=9