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Dementia review a 'wake up call' says charity

Alzheimer's Society in Wales says there needs to be a 'step change' in the way dementia services are commissioned in Wales. Sue Phelps, the charity's director, says preventative services can be a "lifeline" for people with dementia and their carers.

This review is a wake-up call. It has long been recognised that health and social care must be better integrated, but recognition is one thing and delivering much needed change is another.

We work closely with local authorities and health boards and understand the pressures they are under financially, but we need to make sure money spent on services for people with dementia is used effectively. We must ensure there is enough funding in the system to allow us to protect the most vulnerable.

– Sue Phelps, director Alzheimer's Society in Wales


Current dementia arrangements 'not sustainable'

The CSSIW review into dementia care took place between July 2013 and January this year. As part of the review, the inspectorate visited five local authorities to look at how well services for people with dementia and their carers was being commissioned.

The report found:

  • significant gaps in the planning and provision of prevention and early intervention services
  • the commissioning of preventative services from the third sector is ad hoc
  • a need for greater focus on the quality of care and people's quality of life when monitoring service contracts.

By 2021, the number of people with dementia across Wales is projected to increase by 31% and by as much as 44% in some rural areas.

Local authorities and health boards must increase the pace at which they are transforming services to deliver integrated models of care that will effectively support people with dementia and their carers.

The report identifies that the current arrangements for commissioning services are not sustainable in the face of projected future demands and financial pressures.

– Imelda Richardson, CSSIW Chief Inspector

'Major changes' needed in dementia provision

The review took place between July 2013 and January 2014 Credit: Daniel Karmann/DPA

Major changes need to be made in the way dementia services are planned and commissioned in Wales, according to a report from the Care and Social Service Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW).

The report found that there are 'significant gaps' in the planning and provision of early intervention services and there is a need for 'greater focus' on the quality of care provided by local authorities and health boards.

Council: Alternative care homes found for residents

Carmarthenshire County Council says that the order to remove Hafan Tywi care home's registration was made last Thursday at Llanelli Magistrates Court.

Alternative care homes have been identified for all the people living there. Some residents have already moved out and others will be moving today. It is a difficult time for residents, relatives and staff. The home has remained open over the Easter Bank Holiday and the local authority has put in staff to support the home. The commitment of the care home’s own staff is such that they have come into work despite the difficult circumstances. The county council had put in a lot of support for this care home. We regret that it was not possible to keep it open.

– Catherine Poulter, Carmarthenshire County Council

Watchdog: Staff not being paid

Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) says that staff at Hafan Tywi care home weren't paid at the end of last month - but praised them for continuing to provide care for residents.

The watchdog says there was no guarantee staff would be paid properly, so it wasn't "sustainable" for the home to stay open.

The urgent closure of Hafan Twyi was triggered by a number of concerns over the financial viability of the home, which reached a crisis point when staff were not paid at the end of March. In these circumstances CSSIW had to take legal advice and legal action on 5 April resulting in the closure of the home, to ensure the service users could be properly cared for. There were no tenable management arrangements in place locally and nobody to be properly accountable for the continued safety and welfare of service users.

– Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales statement