William Eichler 13 February 2018

Third of dementia sufferers do not have care plan, charity warns

One in three patients suffering from dementia do not get the NHS follow up support they’re supposed to because of a lack of care plan, older persons charity finds.

NHS England's Guidance states, 'There is an urgent need to ensure every person who has dementia has an individual care plan' and specifies these reviews should take place once a year at the minimum.

However, new analysis from Age UK has revealed one third of dementia sufferers do not have a care plan.

Age UK analysed data from 7,185 GP practices in England and found that, in total, 458,461 people had a recorded diagnosis of dementia in November 2017.

They also found only 282,573 had a new care plan or at least one care plan review on record in the last year.

The charity also found that at a quarter (24.7%) of practices only 50% or fewer people with a dementia diagnosis had received a new care plan or had their existing care plan reviewed in the last 12 months.

'Our analysis suggests that many people with dementia are losing out on the NHS follow up support they need and are supposed always to be offered, once they have received their diagnosis,’ said Caroline Abrahams, Age UK's charity director.

‘As a result they and their loved ones are missing precious opportunities to get help with living as well as possible with the disease.

‘The absence of a care plan also means that people with dementia are not being sign-posted to services that really could improve their physical and mental health, and sense of wellbeing.

‘There aren't enough good local support services for people of dementia yet but some great initiatives do exist, as we show in our report, so it's a terrible shame if people aren't being helped to access them.’

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