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 14 priority and 21 additional actions and its implementation is being led by the National Dementia Office in the HSE.
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 advanced, including the establishment of the National Dementia Office, the provision of intensive homecare packages for people with dementia and the Understand Together awareness campaign. A mid-term review published in May 2018 found that, of the Strategy's 35 actions, one had been completed, substantial work had been completed on 16, with preliminary work conducted on 17 others.
As part of the memorandum of understanding between the Atlantic Philanthropies, Department of Health and the HSE, funding was allocated for an external, independent evaluation of the impact of the Strategy. The report on the outcome of the evaluation is at an advanced stage and will be considered by the National Dementia Monitoring Group later this month, prior to completion.
In 2016 and 2017, the National Dementia Office partnered with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland on a baseline study to map dementia-specific community-based services and supports around the country. The study has been used to inform a service finder hosted on the National Dementia Office’s website, which allows people to search for dementia-specific community services in their area.
The Dementia Community Activation Coordinator is a position jointly operated by the HSE and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. The Coordinator is working with national organisations and key community stakeholders to increase the number of community dementia champions across Ireland in order to create sustainable dementia inclusive communities. €90,000 in Dormant Accounts funding was secured to fund salary costs for the position and costs for the community programme in 2018 and 2019.
With regard to the cost to fully implement the Strategy, as this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.