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Commissioning for dementia: NICE guidance

4 April 2013

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Commissioners should invest in services that support people to live “well and independently with dementia, NICE has said. 

This would help avoid “distressing hospital admissions”, the new guide from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) claims. 

The suggestions, which draw on the NICE quality standards for dementia, focus on ways commissioners can improve outcomes for patients and their carers. 

Improving support for carers is a key component of the Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia, and NICE has noted they often need ìgreater emotional, psychological and social supportî.

A commissioning tool which accompanies the guide allows commissioners to show how well they are performing against a range of outcome measures that together demonstrate how well the whole system is working. 

The tool can also demonstrate where improvements against outcome measures have prevented or reduced avoidable expenditure in the health and social care system. 

Dr Jill Rasmussen, Clinical Champion for Dementia at the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) said: “This support for commissioning covers the full breadth of social, medical and psychological treatment and care for people with dementia and their carers, from early detection through to end of life that commissioners need to consider if they are to meet that challenge.”

It is estimated that dementia costs the English economy about £20 billion every year and that this will increase to over £27 billion by 2018. 

There are around 670,000 people in England living with dementia, however due to longer life expectancy this number is expected to double by 2035.

A NICE statement said: “While the support for commissioning draws on existing NICE recommendations, it does not constitute formal NICE guidance and is intended as a tool to help the NHS improve patient care through effective commissioning.”