Key points

  • costs of dementia care
  • a 'road map' for care
  • addressing the quality gap
  • the need for high-quality, cost-effective care

We commissioned this improvement report because of the importance and urgency of the need to improve services for people with dementia and their carers. The statistics speak for themselves: there are 750,000 people with dementia in the UK and this is forecast to increase to over a million by 2021.

This report collates the evidence and presents a snapshot of the current state of dementia care.

The burden and costs of care are enormous: around £8bn in direct care costs, rising to an estimated £20bn costs to the economy as a whole. The costs of care could triple within 20 years if we don’t take action to provide better care at lower cost.

Current care is also falling far short of what it needs to be. In order to help services address this gap between current provision and a standard of high quality care, we have summarised the research evidence on ways to improve care in the most cost-effective way. We have brought together the key recommendations from major policy documents, demonstrating that these broadly align – there is a ‘road map’ for the components of quality care.

The rising numbers of people with dementia could either be a crushing burden for the NHS in the years to come – or, if we can get it right, high-quality and cost-effective dementia care represents one way to tackle the financial constraints in the NHS by enabling providers to reduce the unnecessary use of expensive hospital and residential care – when this is not the best way to meet the person’s needs.

Further reading

Newsletter feature

Improving hospital discharge for dementia patients

28 August 2013
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