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Sharp rise in uptake of PCT memory services

Two-year 57% rise in people using PCT-commissioned memory services

Louise Prime

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The number of people with dementia who accessed PCT-commissioned memory services has risen by more than half over the past two years, an NHS survey has shown, alongside a much smaller rise in average spending on the services.

NICE guidance in 2006 recommended that PCTs should commission memory services to improve early detection and treatment of dementia; this aim was reiterated in the Government’s National Dementia Strategy, published in early 2009.

The voluntary survey, to which 80% of PCTs and Care Trusts in England responded in May and June of this year, showed that almost all of them (94%) had already commissioned memory services, with a further 4% intending to do so in the future.

In 2010/11 each PCT had an average of 951 people using the memory services that it had commissioned, compared with just 605 in 2008/9, an increase of 57%. But at the same time, average spending on the services rose by 22%, from £486,000 to £593,000. The figures are not adjusted for the PCTs’ size or geographical area.

The NHS Information Centre’s chief executive Tim Straughan said: “Although this is a voluntary survey, today’s report offers the first-ever estimates about how much PCTs spend on memory services and how many people are using them.

“This information provides a valuable basis from which to examine, compare and plan future provision of these services, which are clearly a key part of the NHS strategy to tackle dementia.”

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