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Experts Call for a More Coordinated Dementia Care Strategy

May 18, 2011

BURTON, England, May 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — – New Report Identifies
Home-based Care Pathway that Would Improve Patient and Carer Experience and
Reduce the Cost of Caring for Dementia Patients by up to 25%

Dementia experts call for a new approach to supporting dementia patients
and their carers, after identifying gaps in current health and social care
provision. The findings are highlighted in a new report, written by a panel
of some of England’s leading experts in dementia care, launched in the House
of Lords today.

The group found that current service provision for dementia is failing to
support patients and carers in many key aspects of day-to-day life. As a
result, many of these patients end up in an inappropriate care setting.
Together, the group sets out a new approach to dementia care, outlining
practical steps that will improve patient and carer experience at a lower
cost to the NHS and local government. Specifically, the report:

– Identifies where patients and carers are currently being let down
within today’s system of care – areas of unmet need include stimulation,
respite care and access to round-the-clock clinical care.

– Lists the care settings in which these needs are at most risk of going
unmet (i.e. residential homes, state-funded care etc).

– Defines and maps a new model of care that will result in better, more
efficient care, and reduce hospital admissions.

– Concludes that a single point of access to service and support,
available 24/7 would greatly improve care and reduce hospital admissions.

– Finds that moving patients onto a clearly mapped home-based care
pathway could save over GBP127million a year for the NHS whilst in avoidable
hospital admissions.

– Calls upon the Department of Health to identify the true costs of
dementia by developing a usable tariff or capitated payment method, which
identifies the actual cost of dementia care in today’s system.

Reducing admissions and cost of care

There is little consistency in the diagnosis of dementia, or in the way
care is commissioned and provided. Inadequate data also make it hard to
quantify the true costs of the disease to the state, to patients and to
carers.

Currently, 25% of all patients admitted to hospital have a diagnosis of
dementia, and it is widely accepted that many hospital admissions could be
prevented if patients and their carers were better supported at home. The
report finds that the cost of caring for dementia patients can be reduced by
up to a quarter if the recommendations for a home-based model of care were
implemented.

Expert comment

Ruth Poole, Group Clinical Director of Healthcare at Home comments: “When
it comes to treating dementia, today’s system is not fit for purpose.
Patients and carers are left to navigate their way through a complex and
often baffling health and social care system. This can lead to the
all-too-familiar outcome of patients ending up in inappropriate care
settings, because anything else seemed too complicated, the options available
did not match their needs, or they were scared and confused and did not know
where else to go. Put simply, we as a health and social care system need to
get our act together.”

Nada Savitch, Director, Innovations in Dementia Community Interest
Company, added: “The people with dementia we work with at Innovations in
Dementia tell us that they find the artificial barriers between health and
social care a barrier at best and a minefield at worst. All too often people
with dementia and their carers are left to find their own way through a
labyrinth of services and providers. A single point of access for all health
and social care needs, regardless of provider, is crucial in making sure
people get the right services at the right time. People with dementia need to
be at the heart of services designed for them.”

Pam Garside, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, and
reference group chair, comments: “As a society and a health sector we are
just realising the scale and projected prevalence of dementia in our
population. Today’s failings in dementia care are something we – as a mixed
health and social care economy – need to tackle collectively. There are
proven models from other diseases, sectors and indeed industries, where
multiple service or care routes are brought together through a single point
of access. We should learn from these ideas and adapt them to patients,
families and local circumstances.”

The full report can be downloaded at http://www.hah.co.uk/media-centre.

Notes to Editors:

1. The expert panel was convened by Healthcare at Home in February 2011.
The group included: Sarah Barnhill, Head of Service Design, Healthcare at
Home Ltd, Stuart Bell CBE (Chief Executive, South London and the Maudsley NHS
Foundation Trust), Anita Brett-Everest (Community Support Worker, East Sussex
County Council), Jane Burt (Director of Operations, The Princess Royal Trust
for Carers), Julia Clinton (Chief Operating Officer, Healthcare at Home), Pam
Garside
(Newhealth and Judge Business School, University of Cambridge),

Richard Gleave (Director of Programme Implementation, NHS South West), Sally
Goodey
(Project Manager Social Care Direct-Adult Services, East Sussex County
Council), Dr Nori Graham (Emeritus Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry, Royal
Free Hampstead NHS Trust), Martin Green (Chief Executive, English Community
Care Association), Stephen Iliffe (Professor of Primary Care for Older
People, University College London), Dr Bahbak Miremadi (Director, Red and
Yellow Care), Barbara Pointon (former carer), Ruth Poole (Group Clinical
Director, Healthcare at Home), Dr Elizabeth Sampson (Department of Mental
Health Sciences, University College London), Nada Savitch (Director,
Innovations in Dementia Community Interest Company), Charles Walsh (founder
and Executive Chair, Healthcare at Home).

2. The key areas of unmet need fall into four categories: workforce;
continuity of access and expertise; admission prevention programmes and
initiatives; socialisation and support in day-to-day life.

3. The financial calculations are based on an existing service in Bristol
and Birmingham, where patients on an end of life home care pathway have a 12%
reduction in the number of admissions, and the cost of tariff for remaining
admissions has been reduced by over 40%.

About Healthcare at Home Ltd

Healthcare at Home was established in 1992 by Charles Walsh, now
Executive Chairman. The vision was, and remains today, to enhance the way in
which clinical and pharmaceutical services are provided for patients, their
families and carers. The vision is realised through the provision of
innovative services to patients in the comfort of their own homes, within the
community, and on site within the NHS and the independent sector.

The company has grown rapidly since its formation to become a leading
provider of home healthcare internationally. With headquarters in Burton on
Trent
, Staffordshire, Healthcare at Home operates from locations throughout
the UK, enabling its services to be provided to patients anywhere in the UK,
from a local base. Total staff numbers within the company have risen to just
over 1,000, of whom approximately half are highly skilled and experienced
clinical staff. The Company has a strong and substantial financial track
record and has a minimum risk score as rated by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), the
financial rating agency.

    For further information please contact:

    Healthcare at Home                 M:Communications
    Steve Davis, Head of Marketing     Nick Francis / Emma Thompson
    Tel:+44(0)7818-016160              Tel: +44(0)207920-2330
    Email: steve.davis@hah.co.uk       Email: healthcareathome@mcomgroup.com

SOURCE Healthcare at Home Ltd


Source: newswire