We are not too far off our national target of 66.7% now.
Hopefully, with the introduction of the 18/19 QEF (Quality Engagement Framework) and its dementia incentive element of 25 pence per patient, our diagnosis rates should increase further.
For the purposes of assessing the improvement in practice dementia diagnosis rate, the CCG Business Intelligence Team will be able to provide us internally with the number of patients recorded with dementia as a percentage of the estimated population for each surgery, so that performance increase can be assessed.
I've produced an easy "A,B,C" mnemonic for increasing your diagnosis rate, which is attached in poster format for display in surgery staff areas. It should be a useful aide memoire.
An early diagnosis of dementia will help patients and carers alike by validating their concerns, empowering them for advanced care planning and power of attorney (if needed), and giving them the opportunity to have medicines which might slow the progress of the disease. It will also help you, as hard-working GPs with personalised care and support planning, and will save time in the long run, particularly if in a crisis situation the care plan is already in place.
More details on CPFT Memory Assessment Service (MAS) are available to access at: https://drive.google.com/open?id=148xBdyRK-Gmeie9XC1qOFEvvqtNqRCJ2
Also, just to highlight, there are two additional dementia twilight training sessions arranged for October and November, which can be booked through Jo Pugh: email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Uptake at our September course at Brookfields was encouraging. Remember, attending these sessions will help practices in the achievement of the 18/19 QEF requirements, and also as they work towards "dementia friendly" status.
The below website links should provide a wealth of useful information and pointers on the subject of becoming a dementia friendly practice, together with details previously circulated out to all surgeries within various monthly dementia update bulletins.
With regard to the in-house "checklist" for referral to the MAS, you can be quite flexible on this. Our aim is to ensure some consistency in referrals at practice level. There is a CPFT proforma which you could use, but it is by no means compulsory, and practices can devise their own checklists to suit their own needs.
Looking ahead, in future bulletins, I will be outlining how we can help our patients to "live well" with dementia, but for now, thank you all for everything you have accomplished so far!
Dr Malav Bhimpuria
MB BS BSc (HONS) FRCGP DCH DRCOG PCMedEd.
Clinical Lead, Older People's Mental Health, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group.