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First social care standard focuses on dementia

Physiotherapy services are named as a key component in maintaining the health and wellbeing of dementia patients in the first of a new pair of quality standards which take onboard social care for the first time.

The two quality standards, published on 3 April by the newly re-named National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), focus on supporting people with dementia to live well and the health and wellbeing of looked-after children and young people.

The new title for NICE reflects the organisation’s extended remit to produce guidance and standards for the social care sector, alongside its existing duties in healthcare. It aims to support the integration of health and social care under the new NHS set-up.

CSP’s professional network of chartered physiotherapists working with older people (Agile) contributed to the dementia care standard, commenting on the draft version and officially endorsing the final document.

It outlines 10 ‘quality statements’, including that patients be able to take part in leisure activities, and that they can access services to help maintain their physical and mental health and wellbeing – with physiotherapy listed as a service that helps achieve this.

Agile chair Janet Thomas said it was good that health and social care were moving towards better integration.

‘For older adults in particular, health and social care is so integrated anyway, when patients come into hospital their social care needs are often key to getting them back out into the community.’

On the new quality standards for social care she added: ‘It’s important that good evidence-based guidance is produced for social care.

The dementia guidance certainly had a different feel to other NICE guidance, with the emphasis shifted to the day-to-day living aspect of dementia care, and this is very important.’

The NICE quality standards apply to England and are designed as a support tool for local authorities to plan delivery of social care for adults and children.

For more information about the new NICE responsibilities and for links to the new quality standards, see: www.nice.org.uk

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