We now have a consultation document for a National Dementia Strategy.
[ EDIT 06-02-09 : It's now out ]
Have you read it yet? I have. I was incredulous and felt I'd been skipping through to find the good bits and move on past preamble to get to the meat of it so, in my haste, had missed the substance of it. So I read through it all, again.
Good grief, if it wasn't meant to be such a serious document it'd be better than zopiclone.
It's lengthy, it's tedious, it has no substance what so ever. It tells me that our patients and their carers need good dementia care, where ever they may be. Well, thank you, so that is where I've been going wrong all these years.
I can see it's a national strategy and not an operational policy so it's vague and paints broad brushsrokes of themes, but it's so bland it's vacuous and irksome. Hence why it's not actually better than zopiclone, it couldn't send me to sleep (tediously dull though it is) because it irritated me too much. Where are the vaunted standards for Primary Care or Secondary Care or care homes or carer support or PCT engagement of BME or non-statutory organisations' input in to care pathways or content/composition/delivery of acute hospital liaison services or early onset dementia care pathways or . . . or . . . well, anything meaningful?
Okay, it's national, it's can't direct one size fits all for rural settings, urban settings, deprived settings, affluent settings and so on. But heck, there's no clear direction at all.
Worse, CSIP were saying that at present anything has to be delievered largely within existing resources. Improve dementia care but don't spend a bean more. I'm fortunate that dementia care in my corner is pretty decent. We've specialist teams, we've good community teams, we've specialist hospital care, we've sensible social work and PCT partners. Beacon services, speak at national conferences, all good stuff. But it took some time to get it how it is, though, and critically it cost a lot of cash.
The Dementia Care Strategy, without resourcing, is worse than bland and trite mother/apple pie statements. It's unhelpful. It's intimating that there's a strategy, a national one, for better dementia care. There isn't. There's a document that can sit on a shelf gathering dust since there's no investment in to effecting change.