GP commissioners facing rise in dementia challenge

Dementia prevalence is set to rise by more than 70 per cent by 2030 and will pose significant challenges to NHS end-of-life care services in England, a DoH advisory body has warned.

More than a million people will have dementia by 2033 (Photograph: Crown)
More than a million people will have dementia by 2033 (Photograph: Crown)

A report by the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network (NEoLCIN) showed 59 per cent of people who died from dementia in the past decade died in a care home, compared with just 16 per cent of the general population.

The prevalence of dementia is predicted to rise 72 per cent by 2030, meaning more people will require end-of-life care. These factors combined will pose unique challenges to commissioners and providers of health and social care, the report concluded.

Report author Dr Julia Verne, director of the South West Public Health Observatory, said: 'Providers and commissioners of end-of-life care need to look at the differences in where people with these conditions die - in particular the high proportion of deaths in care homes.'

Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, national manager of the NEoLCIN, said the pace of increase in dementia varied across the country. Commissioners and providers must look at these differences when planning the development of future services to cope with local growth in patient numbers, she said.

The report coincides with the release of a new framework by the National End of Life Care Programme, which details how services can improve.

Challenges include the complex care required and the fact many patients with advancing diseases often need palliative care early in their course, it said.

Ageing England
  • The number of people aged 75 or over will rise from four million to 7.2 million by 2033.
  • Those aged 90 and over will rise from 400,000 to 1.2 million.
  • More than a million people will have dementia by 2030.

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