BSI: Guidance is Key to Improve Dementia Care

Press release: 20 December 2010

Dementia is a critical health concern, but are the current care services able to offer appropriate support? Only a few days ago, the review by the Royal College of Psychiatrists found many dementia patients were not getting the support on nutrition and mental health that they should. The need for improved care is higher than ever.

BSI has developed a Publicly Available Specification (PAS), which provides comprehensive guidance for care providers on the Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) process – a key resource designed to improve the quality of care provided for people living with dementia.

The number of people living with dementia is expected to rise dramatically in the next twenty years, thus making it essential that proper care is offered by healthcare providers, including care homes, hospitals and support facilities. BSI’s PAS 800 - Use of Dementia Care Mapping for improved person-centred care in a care provider organization Guide - answers the practical questions regarding the application of a person-centred care process. One of the greatest challenges dementia presents is that often people living with Alzheimer’s and other similar diseases can have great difficulty communicating with their care providers. As the disease progresses, speaking, writing and reading skills are increasingly affected. As it becomes more difficult for the person to make their needs known, it is important that care providers are able to utilize a professionally recognised resource to understand how the quality of care contributes to the relative well and ill-being of the person.

Why was PAS 800 developed?

In response to the need to improve the quality of care received by people with dementia, BSI worked with the University of Bradford and a panel of healthcare experts to develop these guidelines aimed to enhance the lives of people with dementia. One of the good practices advocated in PAS 800 is the imperative need for care providers to be trained and available to meet this growing need for person-centred care.

The rise of dementia as a health concern is a global consideration, as people live longer and require increasingly specialised attention. In order to face this challenge, it is recommended that national governments declare dementia a health priority and develop national strategies to provide services supported by evidence-based, good practice standards.

PAS 800 advocates the use of the DCM observational tools and evaluation process to assess the quality of care provided from the viewpoint of a person with dementia and identify opportunities to improve current standards of care. “With PAS 800, BSI wants to offer care providers clear guidance to the principles of DCM, and detailed recommendations for the implementation of it to make sure that people with dementia receive the highest standard of care,” says BSI Standards’s Head of Market Development for Healthcare Breda Corish.

Professor Murna Downs, Head of Bradford Dementia Group, Bradford University, that led the development of this standard, adds: “There has never been a better climate for transforming the quality of care for people with dementia. There is a significant coalition of forces calling for such a transformation including the All Party Parliamentary Party on Dementia, the Department of Health, the National Audit Office and the Dementia Action Alliance. The BSI PAS on dementia provides the field with a methodology not only to achieve improved quality of care, but as importantly, to embed sustainable person-centred care in practice”.