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Working Together To Improve Dementia Care- New Ideas And Best Practice

by Ofentse Wolfgang

Dementia now affects an estimated 700000 people across the UK, and the number of people diagnosed with the condition in the UK is expected to rise to one million within a decade due to the ageing population.

Ian Hargreaves is Head of Social Care and Communities at Agencia Consulting, the Hull based management consultancy that works with NHS trusts throughout the UK in the development of social care services for older people. He explains how social care and healthcare providers can improve dementia care by working together more closely:

"One of the fundamental changes that could really improve dementia care in the UK is in closer working between the social care and healthcare systems. Currently, because dementia diagnosis and care are often provided by these two separate services, many patients are left uncertain as to whether they require 'social' or 'medical' support, and there is no clear path through initial diagnosis to ongoing care.

It's helpful if a partnership exists between providers of social care and healthcare.
"From working in many different areas, we have found that the most sustainable, successful and forward looking dementia care models are in places where a working partnership between the providers of social care and healthcare already exists. Providers can improve the quality of their care, whilst making savings on cost and efficiency by working together, consulting with patients and families and creating an integrated, holistic care model.

"As part of Agencia's consultation work, we have spoken to service users and carers from across the UK, and the vast majority say they want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. Creating a service that can achieve this goal means that available resources need to be re-engineered, and investment must be made in re-ablement and preventative services in the community, so that people are not taken into medical services to begin with.
At Agencia there is a track record in helping support and advise social and health services.

"Over the next few years, the ageing population in the UK will necessitate a change in the way our finite resources are managed. It will be crucial to build up intermediate services through better, earlier diagnosis and the avoidance of unnecessary hospital admissions.

"At Agencia, we specialise in change management and delivering strategic planning. We have worked with the NHS for many years, and our expert teams have a strong track record in advising and supporting the re-engineering of social and health services to meet government targets. Agencia also offers efficiency support and longer-term service planning, as well as consultation services for existing patients and their families."

Agencia works with domestic and international organizations in the public secor as well as the private sector.
Agencia works with major domestic and international organisations in both the private and public sector, to help in the planning and implementation of strategic change. By employing experienced consultants with top-level backgrounds in social care, healthcare, the judicial system and local authorities, the team includes a wide range of skills and has a strong track record in helping organisations to grow and develop.

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