Leicestershire County Council commissions a Dementia Support Service (DSS) jointly with the City Council and NHS. This provides advice and guidance for people affected by dementia, including their informal carers, and also develops informal carer learning and runs social groups. Anyone living with dementia can self-refer or be referred by any professional agency at any point. The DSS is a key part of the LLR Living Well with Dementia Strategy.
The DSS aims to support 2500 people across Leicestershire and Leicester each year with advice and guidance and the service is of good quality. The DSS does not provide personal care or other daily living activity.
The majority of social care support for eligible people with dementia is provided via generic commissioning for older people for example, within home care, CLC, extra care, care technology and residential and nursing care as well as via Personal Assistants through a direct payment. People also self-fund their care and a substantial amount of care is provided by families and other informal carers.
There are over 10,000 people with dementia in Leicestershire, most of whom are over 65 and approximately 300 people 64 and under. 70% of people living in care homes for older people have dementia and 60% of the people using home care also have dementia. Two-thirds of the total number of people with dementia live at home. See Dementia statistics website for more information. Most support is provided within generic contracts.
Commissioning aspirations, intentions and opportunities
The DSS service is in its third year of contract with two more years prior to recommissioning.
The needs of people with dementia increase over time because all types of dementia are progressive. There are likely to be specific criteria within service contracts that address person-centred dementia care. This may include not only personal care and other daily living tasks and support for informal carers but activity with the person to maintain their independence and social connections when these are affected by their cognitive impairment.
The Council expects to see more people using care technologies to support them live at home as safely as possible. In line with CQC requirements leaders and all staff need to be competent to carry out their role and support people with a range of needs, and this includes being competent to support people living with dementia with in early, moderate and advanced stages including people whose behaviour may challenge.
The following are a set of principles developed by the Council to aid providers deliver dementia care. Each organisation will have:
- Strong leadership and governance with a clear organisational dementia care model.
- Person centred care and support plans that address the specific needs of people with dementia, including understanding personhood and relationship centred dementia care.
- High level of expertise in dementia care across leadership team and workforce.
- High quality dementia friendly care environments and/or support people to adapt their home wherever possible so it is safe, supports orientation and adapts to enable people manage short term memory loss.
- High quality dementia specific meaningful activities and personal interactions.
- Inclusion of people with dementia both in the community and care environments.
- Expressions of distress and behaviours that challenge are supported well, including practicing Positive Behaviour Support.
- Strong partnership working with the person, their family and other professionals
Opportunities for care providers to support people with dementia will be contained within commissioning of other service types (e.g. care homes and home care).
Page last updated in June 2023.