The Dementia Atlas has mapped five different themes of care – prevention, diagnosis, support, living with dementia and end of life care.
Benchmarks are used for each of these five themes.
Launching the new Dementia Atlas, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that while some regions on the map appear to meet national standards in terms of offering regular reviews and support, others fall short.
According to the government, tackling dementia is a key priority and the new Dementia Atlas should drive improvements.
One issue considered by the Dementia Atlas is that every person living with dementia should have an annual check-up to review their care needs.
Around 85% of people living with dementia receive these face-to-face meetings in some areas of England.
However, the percentage of people living with dementia who get annual face-to-face meetings is much lower in other regions, as low as 49.3% in Somerset, for example.
The Dementia Atlas shows the number of emergency admissions varying by region, from 1,840 to 6,046 per 1,000 of the population.
The mortality rate for those living with dementia also varies by region, from 441 to 1,617 per 1,000,
Another measure is the the number of patients living with dementia who have a blood test, ranging from 57.3% to 86.6%.
Some of the variations identified in the Dementia Atlas could be due to regional variation in population density and age.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, “The Atlas exposes varied care, with some areas reporting much higher numbers of emergency hospital admissions,”
“We must urgently explore why people with dementia’s needs are escalating to this point and what can be done in the community to prevent crisis admissions among this vulnerable group”.
Here at Informed Choice, we often work with clients who are living with dementia, and their families and professional advisers, to plan for the cost of care.
We believe this new Dementia Atlas provides a useful benchmark to better understand what good looks like for people living with dementia, which will hopefully drive standards higher across all regions.