United Kingdom (Wales)
2012: National Dementia Strategies (diagnosis, treatment and research)
Background information about the National Dementia Strategy
Status and historical development of the National Dementia Strategy
A public consultation was carried out in order to identify what was needed in order to ensure a quality of life for people with dementia in Wales. Four priority areas were identified as a result of this consultation which were outlined in the “National Dementia Vision for Wales: Dementia Supportive Communities”:
“1. Improved service provision through better joint working across health, social care, the third sector and other agencies;
2. Improved early diagnosis and timely interventions;
3. Improved access to better information and support for people with the illness and their carers, including a greater awareness of the need for advocacy;
4. Improved training for those delivering care, including research.”
Duration of the National Dementia Strategy
The National Dementia Vision for Wales was launched on 16 February 2011. Unlike other National Dementia Strategies, the National Dementia Vision for Wales does not set a time limit. It describes a series of commitments to be implemented with immediate effect.
How the National Dementia Strategy is funded
In July 2010, the Welsh Assembly Government announced its intention to provide additional funding of £1.5 million per year to support and implement the above-mentioned goals.
Provisions or procedure for implementing the Strategy
The Mental Health Programme Board has been set up by the Minister for Health and Social Services. Its task is to ensure NHS (National Health Service) Wales, local government and the voluntary sector work together effectively and efficiently to ensure that coordinated services are delivered.
Procedure for monitoring progress made in achieving the goals set
The Mental Health Programme Board will regularly report to the Ministers on its progress and the latter will ensure that the improvements are made.
Involvement of the Alzheimer association (and/or people with dementia)
The Alzheimer’s Society worked closely with the Welsh government in developing the action plans and responded to a consultation on a draft strategy. The Society aims to maintain pressure on the Welsh government to ensure that it delivers on the commitments made in this vision and action plans. On the Society’s website, people are invited to email or write to their Assembly Member (AM) to stress the importance of improving services for people with dementia in Wales.
Alzheimer association’s overall assessment of the National Dementia Strategy
The Alzheimer Society has welcomed the vision and action plans.
Diagnosis, treatment and research
Issues relating to diagnosis
Timely diagnosis in the National Dementia Strategy
Improved early diagnosis is one of the four priority areas identified for improvement. Some of the measures in the vision are relevant to timely diagnosis ranging from pre-diagnostic to post-diagnostic support. For example, there is a commitment to employ dementia clinical co-ordinators to support people who have been diagnosed with dementia. Another commitment is to develop information packs for newly diagnosed people and to create a dedicated information helpline. The third commitment focuses on awareness raising by ensuring that dementia issues are communicated to health colleagues in other disciplines through networks and bulletins.
Issues relating to medical treatment
Medical treatment in the National Dementia Strategy
Timely interventions are mentioned in the list of priority areas for improvement. Further information is not provided in the vision document.
Issues relating to research in the National Dementia Strategy
One of the commitments of the vision is to recognise the importance of dementia research and to continue to support research into the cause, care and cure of dementia. This includes offering funding opportunities to researchers who wish to carry out such research.
Welsh Assembly Government (2011), National Dementia Vision for Wales: Dementia Supportive Communities
Last Updated: Tuesday 14 May 2013