The Committee considered a joint report of the Directors of Adults and Communities and Public Health, which invited comments on the draft Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) Joint Living Well Dementia Strategy 2024-28, subject to Cabinet’s approval on 23 June 2023 for the Strategy to be subject to a formal consultation exercise. The report also updated the Committee on the progress of work under the current Strategy (2019-22). A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 10’ is filed with these minutes.
Arising from discussion and questions, the following points arose:
welcomed the new Strategy which it was agreed was a good and well thought out
ii. A Member commented that whilst it was noted the Strategy needed to set out the high level aims for improving dementia services across LLR, many residents would be most interested in the detail regarding improvements for the future delivery of services. For example, how and when would services be expanded across the County and what targets would be applied. Members were pleased to hear that the County Council and other stakeholders would each produce an action plan which would include detail on specific targets and timescales, the bare minimum of which for the County would be to meet the national target on diagnosis rates. Work on these plans would begin during the consultation period and so more detail would be provided in the next report to both Scrutiny and Cabinet in September.
iii. The Committee was assured of ICB colleagues’ commitment to working to ensure that dementia services would be more accessible for people in rural areas. Under the previous Strategy diagnosis clinics had been focused in the City area which now had significantly higher diagnosis rates than the County. The County Council would therefore be seeking to ensure this was redressed under the new Strategy. There would be challenge and support from partners and other organisations, such as the County Council to the ICB, to ensure delivery arrangements were put in place in a timely fashion and to specifically address the imbalance of diagnosis rates across LLR.
iv. The Service would continue to strive to support people to remain independent, using a range of tools, for example, working with informal carers, working with community groups, as well as formal adult social care services in the way contracts were managed and supported. Members were pleased to hear that promoting independence for those living with dementia would be a key aim supported by the new Strategy, as it was across all adult social care services.
v. A Member raised concerns that individuals who were illiterate could find it difficult to articulate their needs and might be unable to access advice and information. The Director assured Members that this would be taken into account during delivery of the revised Strategy, for example, by providing assistance through diagnosis and planning arrangements.
Members welcomed plans for the Council and its
partners to use a range of different activities to engage with carers, family
members and those experiencing dementia themselves as part of the consultation,
noting that the online consultation would be just one option available. Members were pleased to hear that recognition
had been given to the importance of going out and speaking directly to people
as an online approach was not suitable for all.
It was suggested that as part of the consultation process
the Cabinet should consider including a section to seek feedback on the
experiences of carers and patients, of how they had found the process of
getting a diagnosis of dementia. Members
agreed that this could provide some valuable information to support future
improvements from those that had already used the service.
In response to questions raised, assurance was
provided that the methodology used for collecting and recording data around
dementia diagnosis rates was consistent with the approach used nationally and
was in line with that used by the City Council.
This included using NHS digital data and primary care data which was set
against national figures for the expected level of dementia prevalence.
viii. A Member commented that utilising parish councils and local forums during the consultation period as another means of reaching as many people as possible within the localities should be considered.
ix. The all-party parliamentary group report in 2021 had contained a large section on the impact of non-suitable accommodation on people living with dementia. It was suggested that the Cabinet consider this being built into the LLR Dementia Strategy, for example, by way of a section on how the City and County Council could work to together with district councils to encourage more dementia friendly accommodation.
x. It was acknowledged that the City and County Council had different arrangements regarding the provision of housing and other accommodation, but it was suggested that including a description of what dementia friendly accommodation might look like within the Strategy could be helpful in addressing this issue locally.
a) That the report on the draft Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) Joint Living Well with Dementia Strategy 2024-28 be noted.
b) That the comments now made by the Committee be forwarded to the Cabinet for consideration at its meeting on 23 June 2023.