Improving dementia care in Kent and Medway

The NHS across Kent and Medway want to improve the care for people with dementia and complex care needs. There are currently about 27,000 people in Kent and Medway people living with dementia.

  • around 15,000 (55 per cent) of these people have mild dementia.
  • around 8,750 (32 per cent) of these people have moderate dementia.
  • around 3,500 (12.5 per cent) of these people have severe dementia.

The number of people living with dementia is predicted to rise as the population grows and ages.

Evidence shows it is better for people with dementia to continue to live in their own homes for as long as possible. Services are needed which support them where they live, so any changes or fluctuations in their health can be managed and any crisis prevented or dealt with appropriately. We recognise the impact on families and carers and want to make sure the care and support we provide for people living with dementia takes account of their needs too.

Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group is working with its partners, and people living with dementia and their carers to improve dementia care. We are developing a strategy to reflect all the improvements which people wish to see to dementia care:

  • increased prevention and awareness raising
  • increased support for people living with dementia and their families pre and post diagnosis
  • improved diagnosis
  • enhanced care and support for people with complex needs in the community at home, in care homes
  • enhanced care in hospital and during transition before and afterwards
  • end of life support

If you would like to contribute to this work please attend our online workshop on Thursday 29 April, to register your interest contact Kmccg.engage@nhs.net

Everyone is welcome from people with lived experience of dementia and their families, staff and service providers, and our partners in the voluntary and community sector.

We have already heard from: people and their families living with dementia, staff and volunteer in hospitals, care homes, GP practices and domiciliary care as well as the wider patient and public about what is working well but could be more consistent, what could be improved and where there are gaps. This highlighted the pressures felt by both patients, staff and carers particularly during covid to read the full report

We are at an early stage of developing proposals for an intensive community service for people with dementia which will support people in the own homes and care homes (both residential and nursing) at times of crisis and urgent need. This is with the aim of avoiding hospital admission where possible.  This will include specialist support for people with dementia in beds which can provide that extra step of support until their health improves. 

We have undertaken research with people living with dementia, their families, staff across a range of services and our partners in local authorities and the voluntary and community sector.  Now we are developing proposals for services based upon: populations need, data modelling of the current services and learning from best practice examples elsewhere. 

This will have several elements and will be discussed at the online workshop on 29 April – to attend please contact kmccg.engage@nhs.net. Places are limited but we also have two dedicated groups: a group for people with dementia, and one for the family/carers. We will work with these groups throughout the programme so they can continue to give their views and ideas and help shape the care the service will provide.  

If you are interested in joining either group please contact: kmpt.mhldaimprovement@nhs.net

The Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism Board

This board oversees all the plans for transforming mental health services.  It is a partnership of commissioners and providers, health and social care and voluntary and community sector representatives.  They oversee all the investment and decisions and monitor progress against those plans.

Dementia Service Improvement Group

This is a partnership group of clinicians, managers from all sectors who are responsible for delivering progress on the plans and work together to make sure all the various elements of the pathway are improved.

Operational/task groups

These are smaller groups of clinicians and staff working together to plan and deliver various elements of transformation work, including the enhanced care for those with complex needs.

People living with dementia, their family and carers

All our work is informed by the experience of patients and carers and the views of our wider patient and public community.  We try where possible to take a co-production approach and have patients and carers work with us on our plans from the outset.  KMPT has a monthly service user group they provide people with sufficient and regular input so that they can engage with the programme at their own pace, and are currently setting up a carer group to help co-produce this work. To take part please contact: kmpt.mhldaimprovement@nhs.net

Health Overview and Scrutiny Committees

Kent County Council and Medway council both have a committee whose statutory duty is to scrutinise the plans and decisions the Health service makes on behalf of its residents.  We have been regularly reporting to these about our progress on improving dementia care.

The latest update was in March 2021.

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