Joint publication: Dementia - Supporting people with dementia and their carers in health and social care
Published: November 2006
By the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and the Social Care Institute for Excellence
The guide is for health and social care staff who work with people with dementia and their carers, and those who work with older people and people with learning disabilities. This includes GPs, nurses, geriatricians, psychiatrists, social workers, care home managers and care staff. It also includes recommendations relevant to commissioners, managers and coordinators of health and social care.
The following recommendations have been identified as priorities for implementation.
- People with dementia should not be excluded from any services because of their diagnosis, age or coexisting learning disabilities.
- Health and social care professionals should always seek valid consent from people with dementia.
- Health and social care managers should ensure that the rights of carers to receive an assessment of needs as set out in the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 and the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 are upheld.
- Health and social care managers should coordinate and integrate working across all agencies involved in the treatment and care of people with dementia and their carers.
- Care managers and care coordinators should ensure the coordinated delivery of health and social care services for people with dementia.
- Memory assessment services should be the single point of referral for all people with a possible diagnosis of dementia.
- People with dementia who develop non-cognitive symptoms that cause them significant distress or who develop challenging behaviour should be offered an assessment at an early opportunity.
- Health and social care managers should ensure that all staff working with older people in the health, social care and voluntary sectors have access to dementia-care training that is consistent with their roles and responsibilities.
- Acute and general hospital trusts should plan and provide services that address the specific personal and social care needs and the mental and physical health of people with dementia who use acute hospital facilities for any reason.
Dementia is a progressive and largely irreversible clinical syndrome that is characterised by a widespread impairment of mental function. As the condition progresses, people with dementia can present carers and social care staff with complex problems including aggressive behaviour, restlessness and wandering, eating problems, incontinence, delusions and hallucinations, and mobility difficulties. It is estimated that there are 700,000 cases of dementia in the UK and approximately one million people caring for people with dementia.
This guidance sets out the identification, treatment and care of people with dementia and the support that should be provided for carers within primary and secondary healthcare, and social care.
The booklet is for health and social care staff who work with people with dementia and their carers, and those who work with older people and people with learning disabilities. This includes GPs, nurses, geriatricians, psychiatrists, social workers, care home managers and care staff. The booklet also includes recommendations relevant to commissioners, managers and coordinators of health and social care.
Download the guide
This guide is available in PDF format. The following documents relate to the guide:
- Dementia: NICE-SCIE guideline (350kb PDF file) - All the recommendations
- Dementia: quick reference guide (125kb PDF file) - A summary which contains what you need to know to put the guideline's recommendations into practice.
- Dementia: full guide (1270kb PDF file) - Full guideline.
- Dementia: Understanding NICE-SCIE guidance (314kb PDF file) - Details the support and treatment options that should be available within the NHS and social care.
Implementing this guideline
- Dementia: implementation advice (250kb PDF file) - Advice for health and social care service providers.
- Dementia: audit criteria (156kb PDF file) - Checklist to assess if compliant with guidelines
- Dementia: costing report (270kb PDF file) - report on resource implications of implementing guidelines
- Dementia: costing template (1,331kb MS Excel file) - spreadsheet to assist with financial planning. Also available in PDF format -
- Dementia: costing template (312kb PDF file)
- Dementia: slide set (764kb MS Powerpoint file) - Presentation on key points of the guidelines.
- Using NICE guidance to promote health and wellbeing (57kb PDF file)
Video case study
For printed copies of the quick reference guide or the Understanding NICE-SCIE guidance, phone the NHS Response Line on 0870 1555 455 and quote: N1 144 for the quick reference guide and N1 145 for 'Understanding NICE-SCIE guidance'.