NICE says social care for dementia is ‘patchy’

Gillian Leng - NICE 2 NICE has described the existing social care provision for people with dementia as ‘patchy’ and struggling to catch up with the increased demand.

As it extends its remit to social care, NICE (now the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has outlined standards for dementia care provided by social services and care homes.

However, it warned that some people with dementia were not even receiving basic care to a minimum standard.

Following the DH’s national dementia nursing strategy, the new NICE guidance aims to ensure that the social care sector maintains a comparable standard to, and is effectively integrated with, NHS care.

It covers such broad aspects of life for people with dementia as appropriate housing and access to dental services and community life.

“The general picture is that care is patchy,” said NICE’s Deputy Chief Executive, Professor Gillian Leng (pictured).

“My personal view is that we are all playing catch-up because the number of people with dementia has been increasing so dramatically.”

George McNamara of the Alzheimer’s Society commented: “These standards will be a useful tool for the care sector and show what people with dementia and carers should be able to expect.”

However, he warned, “as they are not mandatory, it’s a case of ‘wait and see’ as to whether this guidance will drive real change or just sit on the shelf.”