Tuesday, 1 July 2008

National Dementia Strategy

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.


Anonymous said...

But on the other hand.. is it not good that you are not being directed on how to deliver care? Being *trusted* to just do your job?

It is a complete waste of time and money to print up soemthing that says - We should do it well!

There seems to be an air of Stand-down from direction and reform across the board this week.. what with the Darzi Drivel.. and now the Dementia Doh-cument

Anonymous said...

Ah what a shame. I though you might have just found a replacement for Zopiclone when I have my spells of insomnia!

Seriously though, couldn't the money spent on researching, producing and publishing this document have been spent better?

Dragonfly said...


Cat said...

Phew, thanks for saving me the time I'd have taken in reading (ok, glancing briefly) at it!

Jan said...

Ah, so this is what you do when you're not dropping inflammatory posts onto Mental Nurse?