Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services

First published:
14 February 2018
Last updated:

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The Dementia Action Plan 2018-2022 has been published today.

Our vision is for Wales to be a dementia friendly nation that recognises the rights of people with dementia to feel valued and to live as independently as possible in their communities.  

This is an innovative action plan to progress commitments relating to dementia in Taking Wales Forward and Prosperity for All setting out the range of stakeholders who can support this agenda and the actions required to make a real change.  We have developed this plan with those who know most about what needs to be done to improve truly person-centred dementia services – those with lived experience of dementia, their families and carers and service providers.

In addition, the independent Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care in Wales, challenges us to move to a seamless system within health and social care and to demonstrate we are doing things differently.  I want the delivery of this plan to be an active demonstration that we can achieve the vision of the Parliamentary Review, providing services that focus on the needs of the individual and ensuring individuals with dementia are central to planning of services.

To deliver the actions within this plan, I am providing an additional £10m a year from 2018-19 onward to support the step change that is needed in this area.  This investment supplements the existing funding across Wales and will bring the actions set out within the plan to life.

A main theme within the plan is to enable people living with dementia to maintain their independence and remain at home where possible, avoiding unnecessary admissions to hospital or residential care and delays when someone is due to be discharged from care.  We will therefore be using the Integrated Care Fund (ICF) mechanism to distribute a significant proportion of this additional funding.  I expect this to contribute to developing the ‘team around the individual’ approach.  This well established fund is already being used to support a range of innovative and integrated approaches to delivering care services.  Regional Partnership Boards will continue to engage closely with service users and carers on how this fund should be used.  As part of this I expect boards to consider how both statutory and voluntary services can work together to deliver the vision set out in the plan, encouraging services to become community focused rather than centering on hospital based care.

As a starting point Regional Partnership Boards will be expected to take a fundamental look at the existing dementia services and care pathway in each area and develop services in line with the dementia plan which address these gaps.  This should also identify how these services link with those for the elderly population more broadly.  The voluntary sector will play a key role in this and I expect to see active engagement on these decisions with those who will receive these services.  

Progress against delivery of the plan will be overseen by a Dementia Delivery Assurance and Implementation Group (DDAIG) and membership of this group will include people living with dementia and their carers and families.  Further details of this group will be shared in due course.

The plan will be subject to a review at the three-year point to ensure the actions remain ambitious and relevant and I will expect an evaluation of the outcomes of the new services developed at a local level.