As a response to the challenges facing people with dementia and their families and carers, the National Dementia Strategy was launched in December 2014. The Strategy contains 35 priority and additional actions and its implementation is being led by the National Dementia Office in the HSE. Progress made to date and future plans, are recorded in the mid-term review of the Strategy's implementation, which was published in May 2018.
The strategy’s implementation was boosted at the time of its launch through a joint programme of investment by the HSE and the Atlantic Philanthropies. This €27.5 million investment allowed for a number of key actions within the strategy to be resourced and implemented. It funded the PREPARED programme, which offers education and clinical resources for GPs and primary care teams; intensive homecare packages for people with dementia; the Understand Together awareness campaign; and the establishment of the National Dementia Office, which has an important role in implementing the strategy. The office has made substantial progress towards developing evidence-based care pathways for people with dementia. Additional projects have been funded by the Dormant Accounts Fund.
A large scale external evaluation of the strategy is nearing completion, and will be published in the coming months.
The Department is committed to the full implementation of the National Dementia Strategy, and will continue to work with the National Dementia Office and stakeholders to progress the actions contained in the strategy. Until satisfactory work has been completed on actions contained in the current strategy, and because the external evaluation of the strategy has not concluded, it would not be appropriate to begin work on a new strategy.
The National Dementia Strategy calls for the HSE to consider the provision of dementia advisers, based on the experience of demonstrator sites. An evaluation of the Dementia Adviser Service was published last September. It recommends the continuation and expansion of the service to ensure equity of access countrywide. Earlier this year, the HSE confirmed that it would continue to fund the Dementia Adviser service at existing levels in future years.
The level of funding available for the Department of Health in 2020 and the quantum of services to be provided by the HSE will be considered as part of the national Estimates and budgetary process and National Service Planning.