City CCG announces high diagnosis of Dementia in time for national awareness week
16th May 2016 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in Better Care Fund
Thousands of patients living in Leicester have benefited from a timely diagnosis of dementia, thanks to a commitment from the Leicester City CCG. The commitment sees the CCG diagnosing a significantly higher number of patients than the UK national average.
During 2015/16 Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) along with other CCGs up and down the country were given a target, based on their patient population, by NHS England to improve the diagnosis rates of people with dementia aged 65 and above. This was as a result of national data collected which showed that only 48% of the estimated number of people with dementia had a formal diagnosis.
Leicester City CCG was given a target of diagnosing 66.7% (1770) of their expected number of patients with dementia (2,653), aged over 65 and across 61 eligible practices by the end of March 2016.
To date the CCG has diagnosed 89% of patients in this category. This means the CCG has diagnosed 23% more dementia patients than the national average and the second highest number of patients within the East Midlands and doubled the diagnosis rate of last year.
The announcement of this achievement also coincides with Dementia Awareness Week which runs from May 15 – May 21. The CCG will be supporting a number of activities organised by Alzheimer’s Society and Leicester City Council taking place in the city during the week. City GPs Dr Tun Than and Dr Sulaxni Nainani will be providing advice to the public around the symptoms and diagnosis of dementia.
The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include gradual memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These symptoms occur when the brain is damaged by certain diseases, including Alzheimer’s and stroke.
Dr Raj Than, Leicester City CCG Board member and GP lead on older people, said: “We are delighted to be achieving such positive results for our patients. However, we will continue the drive on diagnosis. We will continue to work closely with our local health and social care partners to improve awareness of dementia and remind people of the importance and benefits of a timely diagnosis.
“A more timely diagnosis means patients and their family members or carers can receive the support they need earlier to help live independently for as long as possible.”
As part of a commitment to Dementia, a Dementia Strategy across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland was introduced, which outlines the way professionals across health and social care will work together to support people with dementia and their carers’. This strategy is currently being revised by the local Better Care Together Dementia Delivery Group.
Locally the CCG has set out to increase diagnosis of dementia by working closer with GPs to raise their awareness, as well as increasing access for patients, carers and their families to support services in the community that enable people to live well with dementia.
Services include the Alzheimer’s Hospital Liaison Service at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, community memory clinics, tea and coffee mornings and singing cafes to support both people with dementia and their family/carer.
This commitment is also aligned to The Better Care Fund which is a national programme that delivers seamlessly integrated health and social care for patients, providing for their basic day to day needs, to help them retain their independence and stay well in their own homes and avoid spending time in hospital. Better Care Fund services are aimed at patients aged 60 and above, younger patients with multiple long term conditions and patients with dementia.
The Better Care Fund is part of Better Care Together, a five year partnership programme to transform health and social care in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR).
If you or someone you know is concerned about memory problems, speak to your GP. To find out more information visit the CCG webpage about dementia at http://ow.ly/BUea3. Alternatively visit http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/ for advice on living well with dementia.