Agenda item

Community Based Support Service for People with Dementia and their Families

(To receive a report by Karley Beck, Senior Commercial and Procurement Officer, which invites the Committee to consider a report on the re-commissioning of the Dementia Community Support Service which is due to be considered by the Executive Councillor between 15 – 29 April 2019)


The Committee received a report which invited members to consider the a report on the re-commissioning of a community based Dementia Support Service, which was due to be considered by the Executive Councillor between 15 – 29 April 2019.


Members were advised that the Council currently commissioned a dementia Family Support Service, which was provided by the Alzheimer's Society and the contract was due to end on 30 September 2019.  It was reported that the aim of the service was to offer support and guidance for people with dementia to live at home independently for longer and to ensure that people were better enabled to live well with dementia through provision of meaningful support and services, in turn preventing crises, unscheduled hospital admissions and premature transition in long term residential care.  The current service provided support to only those people who had a diagnosis of dementia.  The service also provided support and guidance to family and carers of people with dementia so that they could support the person with dementia to continue in their caring role and maintain their own health and wellbeing.


Members were provided with an opportunity to ask questions to the officers present in relation to the information contained within the report and some of the points raised during discussion included the following:

·         It was queried whether it was correct that people who had a diagnosis of dementia or were caring for someone with dementia were eligible for an exemption from council tax.  It was confirmed that this was true, and it was the sort of information that the service would help people to find out.

·         When people were diagnosed early, they would be sign posted to this service, as there was a lot that could be done to help people live well with dementia.

·         This service would allow flexibility, and assurance was sought that both the elements proposed would not exceed the budget allowance.  It was noted that there would be a need for a conversation with health colleagues if there was a spike in the diagnosis rates, and an increase in funding would be requested.  However, there was capacity within the existing budget.  Early diagnosis was stressed.

·         It was queried why the cost per person was so much lower in east Sussex, and it was noted that they were achieving better value through delivering to more people.  East Sussex was used as an example as it was the most comparable to Lincolnshire in terms of the service to be commissioned.  There were particular challenges in relation to Lincolnshire's Rurality.

·         It was hoped that this service would also benefit those people with a mild cognitive impairment as well as those with a diagnosis of dementia.

·         Members were advised that it was a complex process to get a diagnosis of dementia and involved a series of scans, and often by the time that people got diagnosed it was too late to get the support that could prevent the serious complications.  There was a lot that could be done in the early stages, such as advice and planning and the patient being able to make decisions for their future.

·         It was queried whether people with dementia were able to access grants for improving their home, however, members were advised that this sat outside of the budget for this service but they could be signposted to relevant services.

·         It was important that the service was measured by robust performance indicators.

·         It was commented that there seemed to be an increasing number of people needing the service, but not an increasing budget.  It was noted that the challenge was that the Council did not make the diagnosis, and NHS colleagues were relied on for this.  There was a national focus on dementia and CCG's were under pressure to perform and meet targets for dementia diagnoses.  However, it was believed that there was enough capacity within the contract to manage an increase of 2% to match the national targets.  The important of integrated working with the NHS and others was stressed.

·         It was confirmed that the service was free at the point of delivery.

·         The figure of 11,000 people living with dementia in Lincolnshire came from a number of sources, including the historical trends, projections and hospital records etc.




1.    That the Committee supports the recommendations to the Executive Councillor as set out in the report, including a suggestion that the proposed service be called the 'Dementia Support Service' rather than 'Dementia Community Support Service'.

2.    That the Committee's comments be passed to the Executive Councillor in relation to this item, including the importance of early diagnosis; the effect of rurality on service delivery; the importance of performance information; and the importance of integration with health and other commissioned care services.

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