Dementia Health Needs Assessment – Prevention and Care (2019)

This is an assessment of the health needs related to dementia, with a focus on prevention and social care, in Wandsworth, designed with the aim of informing adult social care commissioning activities in the borough.

Executive Summary

Dementia, owing to increasing prevalence and its complex impact on those affected, is now recognised as a major issue nationally and locally. This needs assessment has been constructed to facilitate informed action in response to dementia need in the borough.

How is Wandsworth affected by dementia?

Whilst five years ago dementia prevalence in Wandsworth was lower than average regionally and nationally, due to a high local incidence rate, prevalence in the borough is increasing faster than average elsewhere. Current data describes a varying distribution of dementia within the borough. The number of people aged ≥65yrs affected by dementia is expected to increase by 47% by 2035. The rate of increase can be reduced with effective reduction in dementia risk factors.

In 2019, the cost of dementia in Wandsworth is estimated to be approximately £70.4m, £27.4m of which being attributable to social care costs. This is expected to increase to £102.7million and £40.1million respectively by 2035.

How well is Wandsworth performing in relation to dementia prevention?

Approximately 30% of cases, attributable to the main sub-types of dementia, are potentially preventable. Wandsworth is performing well in relation to physical inactivity levels, the biggest modifiable risk factor for dementia. However, Wandsworth is performing no better than the rest of London in relation to smoking prevalence and worse than London in some metrics related to hazardous alcohol consumption.

Whilst current health promotion activity does address these risk factors separately, there is currently no coordinated interagency programme to raise awareness of risk factors specifically in relation to dementia in the borough.

How well is Wandsworth performing in relation to dementia care?

Following a diagnosis of dementia in Wandsworth, residents (carers and people diagnosed with dementia) can access support, information and training programmes to equip them with skills to aid in achieving a positive life with dementia. Whilst the pathway to these resources is clear from local memory assessment services, the route from other diagnosing organisations, such as hospitals and private practices and services in other boroughs is less well established.

Following the immediate post-diagnostic period, ongoing support is available via clinical, voluntary and social care services, However, navigating what is available and organising care and transport to attend these services can present a challenge for residents.

Typically, progression of dementia leads to greater care needs. With increasing demand for home care services and geographic obstacles to accessing day centre services, Wandsworth faces a challenge in supporting people with dementia to remain in their homes and communities as their needs increase.
Once care needs develop beyond the capacity of day centres and home-based care, admission to care homes is often indicated. Whilst care beds in the borough are plentiful compared to other Boroughs, they are of mixed quality and produce a high demand for emergency healthcare services.

Read the full document: LBW Dementia Health Needs Assessment 2019