Improved asthma and dementia care from community pharmacists under new quality scheme

Most community pharmacies in England are now providing improved asthma and dementia care |  NHS England 

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Thousands of community pharmacists took up incentives to offer new patient services, such as providing asthma checks and undertaking training to become more dementia aware, as part of a programme to improve care.

The uptake figures from NHS England show that 97 per cent (11,410) of community pharmacies are now signed up to the Quality Payments Scheme, which provides an incentive to deliver new clinical services in a bid to encourage more people to use their local pharmacist.

An assessment of the new scheme shows that since April 2017, 70,000 pharmacy staff have become ‘Dementia Friends’ in order to offer greater awareness regarding the needs of people with dementia. ​

NHS England issued guidance in December 2016 on how community pharmacies could qualify for the scheme, which ran between December 2016 and March 2018, and is currently considering how best to implement the successes of this scheme over the long-term.

Full story at NHS England

Rise in Alzheimer’s and dementia deaths

Alzheimer’s and dementia now account for more than one in every 10 deaths in Scotland, double the rate of a decade ago | National Records of Scotland | via BBC News


Data from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) showed a 15.8% increase in deaths from Alzheimer’s in the final three months of 2017 compared with 2016. The number of deaths from dementia also rose by 12.3% over the same period. The NRS said the rise was in part due to more accurate recording of the data.

The figures continue a trend that emerged in data from the second quarter of 2017 and which revealed a 33.4% rise in deaths from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Full publication Births, Deaths and Other Vital Events – Quarterly Fiqures


Rehabilitation in dementia care

Rehabilitation in dementia care | Age and Ageing


Multidisciplinary rehabilitation is increasingly accepted as valuable in the management of chronic disease. Whereas traditional rehabilitation models focussed on recovery, maintaining independence and delaying functional decline are now considered worthwhile aims even where full recovery is not feasible.

Despite this, rehabilitation is notably absent from dementia care literature and practice. People with dementia report frustration with the lack of availability of structured post-diagnosis pathways like those offered for other conditions.

Alternative terms such as ‘re-ablement’ are used to refer to rehabilitation-like services, but lack an evidence-base to guide care.

This commentary will discuss possible reasons for the resistance to accept multidisciplinary rehabilitation as part of dementia care, and identifies the value of doing so for people with dementia, their families, and for health professionals.

Full reference: Cations, M et al. |  Rehabilitation in dementia care | Age and Ageing Volume 47, Issue 2, no.1 | March 2018 |  Pages 171–174

Dementia UK: ‘Together again’

Dementia UK have created a short animated film to show the differences Admiral nurses make in bringing families affected by dementia together again, even for the briefest of moments.

This animation explores those feelings of being lost in dementia – and how the support and guidance of an Admiral Nurse can help bring people back together again.


More about Dementia UK and the Admiral Nurse Service available here

Diagnostic pathway for patients with cognitive impairment

Study finds that cognitive impairment is commonly not diagnosed at the earliest stages of the disease and efforts should be made towards public awareness and earlier disease detection and intervention |  Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease | Centre for Dementia Prevention



To ensure that patients with dementia and their caregivers receive appropriate treatment and support, early diagnosis is essential but remains challenging.

Real-world data from a multi-national, cross-sectional survey of physicians and their patients were analyzed to quantify the diagnostic pathway for dementia, including a focus on severity of patients’ cognitive impairment (CI) at the time of symptom onset, referral and subsequent diagnosis.

Data were collected for 7,620 patients with CI. Most patients saw a healthcare professional within 1 year of first symptoms and received a diagnosis within 3–7 months of initial consultation.  However, only 20% of patients received a diagnosis before their disease progressed beyond the prodromal stage and 23.5% already had moderate CI at diagnosis.

These findings show that the goal of identifying and diagnosing CI at the earliest stages of disease is, for many patients, not achieved. Efforts toward public awareness and proactive, earlier detection and intervention, must be maintained—indeed where possible invigorated.

More detail at Centre for Dementia Prevention

Full reference: Ritchie, C et al. | Quantifying the Diagnostic Pathway for Patients with Cognitive Impairment: Real-World Data from Seven European and North American CountriesJournal of Alzheimer’s Disease |  2018 vol. 62, no. 1 |  pp. 457-466

Young Dementia Network resources

The March issue of Young Dementia Network News is now available to read online

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Since the Young Dementia Network was launched 16 months ago, several resources have been developed at the request of Network members:

  • Care Pathway – a set of recommendations to guide policy makers, commissioners and practitioners in designing and delivering services.
  • Clinic Leaflet – a resource given to an individual on receiving a diagnosis of young onset dementia, so they are informed about national organisations they can contact for information and support.
  • GP Guide – this guide, endorsed by the Royal College of GPs, aims to support GPs in recognising the symptoms of young onset dementia.


Are physiotherapists employing person-centred care for people with dementia?

Hall, A et al. | Are physiotherapists employing person-centred care for people with dementia? An exploratory qualitative study examining the experiences of people with dementia and their carers | BMC Geriatrics | 2018 18:63

People with dementia may receive physiotherapy for a variety of reasons. This may be for musculoskeletal conditions or as a result of falls, fractures or mobility difficulties. While previous studies have sought to determine the effectiveness of physiotherapy interventions for people with dementia, little research has focused on the experiences of people receiving such treatment. The aim of this study was to gain an in-depth understanding of people’s experiences of receiving physiotherapy and to explore these experiences in the context of principles of person-centred care.

Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with people with dementia or their carers between September 2016 and January 2017. A purposive sampling strategy recruited participants with dementia from the South West of England who had recently received physiotherapy. We also recruited carers to explore their involvement in the intervention. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.

A total of eleven participants were recruited to the study. Six people with dementia were interviewed and five interviews undertaken separately with carers of people with dementia. Three themes were identified. The first explores the factors that enable exercises to be undertaken successfully, the second deals with perceived resource pressures, and the final theme “the physiotherapy just vanished” explores the feeling of abandonment felt when goals and expectations of physiotherapy were not discussed. When mapped against the principles of person-centred care, our participants did not describe physiotherapy adopting such an approach.

Lack of a person-centred care approach was evident by ineffective communication, thus failing to develop a shared understanding of the role and aims of physiotherapy. The incorporation of person-centred care may help reduce the frustration and feelings of dissatisfaction that some of our participants reported.

Full reference available at BMC Geriatrics

Brain injury may boost risk of Alzheimer’s earlier in life

Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease earlier in life, according to a new studyNeuropsychology | via ScienceDaily


New research examining the long-term effects of head injuries supports a correlation that could only be speculated about in previous studies. The research  analysed  more than 2,100 cases of  people who sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI) with loss of consciousness greater than five minutes, and found that these people were diagnosed with dementia on average two and a half years earlier than those who had not experienced TBI.

The findings come amid rising public concern over the safety of contact sports such as football, largely stemming from revelations that some former NFL players may have sustained permanent damage to their brains from repeated head impacts.

Full story at ScienceDaily

Full reference: Schaffert, J et al. |  Traumatic Brain Injury History Is Associated With an Earlier Age of Dementia Onset in Autopsy-Confirmed Alzheimer’s Disease | Neuropsychology| 2018

Dementia profile

The Dementia Profile is designed to improve the availability and accessibility of information on dementia. | Public Health England

This tool provides indicators arranged into six data domains:

  • Prevalence
  • Preventing well
  • Diagnosing well
  • Living well
  • Supporting well
  • Dying well

The data are presented in an interactive tool that allows users to view and analyse them in a user-friendly format.

The profile provides a snapshot of dementia care, broken down by geographical area, to help local government and health services improve dementia care.

statistical commentary has also been produced which provides a summary of what is new in this release.

View the Dementia Profile.

LGBT: Living with dementia

February was LGBT History Month. In this TIDE blog, David Ward discusses how we can better provide a voice for LGBT people living with dementia. 

Full blog: LGBT Community and Dementia

This booklet  from Alzheimer’s Society has been written for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans and have dementia. It covers the following areas:

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  • LGBT: Living with dementia
  • What is dementia?
  • Memory problems and reminiscence
  • Your support
  • Your rights
  • Planning ahead
  • Services and support
  • Care settings
  • Other useful organisations
  • Further information and resources

While the booklet may be useful for a carer to read, if you are supporting an LGBT person with dementia you should also read Factsheet 480, Supporting a lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans person with dementia.

Related:  Research reveals experiences of LGBT young adult carers in Scotland | Carers Trust