The All Wales Dementia Care Pathway of Standards – enabling improvements in the provision of dementia care for individuals and their carers, by Michaela Morris, Service Improvement Manager for Mental Health

Over the past two years at Improvement Cymru, we have worked with over 1800 people to finalise the All Wales Dementia Care Pathway of Standards, which we are delighted to publish today.  

The aim of the standards is to improve dementia care for individuals and their carers, by providing a clear pathway towards implementing effective standards within dementia care in the next two years.

This work has been led by Improvement Cymru as part of the Dementia Care Programme and directed by the requirements of the Dementia Action Plan for Wales, overseen by the Welsh Government Dementia Oversight Implementation and Impact Group (DOIIG).

We would like to thank the individuals and organisations who have shared their knowledge and experiences of dementia care to help make sure the standards are appropriate and effective. They have included people with lived experience of dementia, their carers, NHS teams, social care, researchers, Alzheimer’s Society Cymru, Age Cymru and many more third sector and partner organisations. People have really committed to developing the standards and to the work going forward that will hopefully see a positive impact on people’s lives.

It has been truly humbling to hear people’s stories of where care has been positive and where approaches can be better. These stories have been instrumental in shaping the 20 standards. It will be a challenging programme but with our partners’ support and assistance we will achieve our outcomes.

The 20 standards have been designed to be dynamic and responding to evaluation and supporting evidence. They sit within four themes: Accessible, Responsive, Journey, Partnerships & Relationships, underpinned by Kindness & Understanding.

The standards have been developed using the Improvement Cymru Delivery Framework and it is anticipated that work will focus on developing a two year Delivery Framework Guide for the regions across Wales.  The Delivery Framework will offer the regions the time, support and assistance to undertake engagement, coproduction, scoping, readiness and self-assessment that will provide the information vital for implementing the standards into practice.

By not implementing the standards immediately but offering the space and time for readiness and planning will provide a more robust delivery of dementia care that will realise the aim of the standards.

People told us during the scoping phase that it is important for each region to have an opportunity to align existing work, review systems, review resources and engage with communities and partners to develop a regional integrated approach to implementing the dementia standards.

The Improvement Cymru dementia care team and its partners look forward to engaging with each Welsh region’s dementia forum to make arrangements to meet and provide a detailed presentation and question and answer session on the vision, the standards and the delivery framework.

The All Wales Dementia Care Pathway of Standards document can be accessed and downloaded here