Over 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia. The current health and social care system treats dementia very differently to other health conditions.
This report sets out how a Dementia Fund, as suggested by Alzheimer’s Society, could be set up to cover the additional social care costs faced by people living with dementia. This would create a level playing field so that such individuals do not pay more for their care than social care users without dementia in similar settings.
The report defines the Dementia Penalty as the average difference between the costs of care faced by people living with dementia versus those with other social care needs. This average proportional difference would be calculated at a national level for different settings (domiciliary, residential home and nursing home) and then applied to the local base cost faced by social care users in the same settings who do not have dementia.
The report draws on an analysis of how social care and dementia services are commissioned as well as of similar Funds to make recommendations for how the Dementia Fund should be commissioned. The report proposes that:
- The Dementia Fund would be jointly commissioned by health and social care. This would help align incentives for local authorities and NHS.
- Individuals with a dementia diagnosis would have the right to access this funding through a Personal Budget. The NHS is looking to expand Personal Health Budgets and individuals living with dementia are one of the priority groups.
- Funding would be drawn down from the Dementia Fund into the Personal Budget and available to be spent on the individual’s care plan.
- Funding would be made available to self-funders and to local authority social care clients. The level of funding would vary according to the individual’s care needs.
- The Dementia Fund should be set up as an independent Fund with legal status.
- Spending through the Dementia Fund should be overseen by the OBR and outcomes monitored and reported on annually.