Early Diagnosis In Dementia

Following the completion of the paper on psychosocial alternatives to antipsychotics by Don Brechin and his group, the FPOP (PSIGE) Dementia Workstream identified the area of early diagnosis of dementia as its priority. This is supported by our involvement with the Dementia Action Alliance and our membership in the Early Diagnosis Action Group, which links us with the major national charities, the Royal Colleges and the Department of Health, and our membership of MSNAP at committee level. The DCP is funding the workstream, and a business case to the DCP for the production of a suite of papershas been made.

The PM’s Dementia Challenge and the DH’s focus on early diagnosis and increasing the diagnosis rate are based on a recognition that early diagnosis can:
• improve outcomes and quality of life for people with dementia and their carers 
• achieve savings for the health economy through delayed need for residential care for people with dementia
However, these benefits of early diagnosis are dependent upon access to effective adjustment to diagnosis and appropriate treatment, both pharmacological and psychosocial. In the drive to deliver early diagnosis, there is a risk that all these essential elements of the treatment and care package are not receiving equal attention. Without this, expected improvements in outcomes for people with dementia, their carers and the wider community will not be achieved. 
There is an urgent need to ensure that the psychological and social perspectives on diagnosis and treatment are heard, understood and integral to decision making processes and service delivery.

The rooms at the BPS offices were used to host an event on February 13th. Our joint work with the DAA presented a prime opportunity to reach a wide group of decision makers to promote psychological thinking and the role of psychology. Invitation for the above day was therefore through the Dementia Workstream for FPOP (speakers and members, 20-30/80 places), while the Chair of the DAA Early Diagnosis Action Group invited relevant DAA member organisation (50-60 places). 

The three speakers’ themes and workshops mirrored the subjects of the planned suite of papers which are intended to further inform on psychological thinking, research and practice and make recommendations for a target audience of the organisations participating in the DAA, representing providers, voluntary sector, DH, professional bodies, but also a wider public, as well as the membership. 

The intended time table is to produce something that is ready to be presented at the next DAA annual event in November 2014. The emphasis is therefore perhaps less on gold standard academic excellence and more on conveying a message at the time it is most relevant.

The authors of the papers emerging from this day have agreed that they should go on the website as work in progress in the dementia workstream, with members welcome to comment or send in suggestions for inclusion in the aimed for papers for the DAA (in November 2013) and possible later briefing papers.

Briefing papers and writing groups:

To access these papers, please click on the authors' names

A Pre-diagnostic counselling and informed consent:
Jenny Lafontaine, Anna Buckell

B Neuropsychological Assessment 
Daniel Collerton, Rachel Domone, Sylvia Dillon

C Postdiagnostic support and psychological interventions
Sue Watts, Rik Cheston, Esme Moniz-Cook, Candy Stone 

Authors welcome feedback on these papers. Please contact Reinhard Guss, Dementia Workstream Lead, to make comments.

Facilitators of joint event with DAA and members of writing groups:

Prof. Dawn Brooker Director of the Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester

Dr. Anna Buckell Clinical Psychologist, Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust, Early Intervention Dementia Service

Prof. Rik Cheston Professor of Mental Health Research (Dementia care), University of the West of England, Consultant Clinical psychologist, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust

Daniel Collerton Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Honorary Teacher in Clinical Psychology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Dr. Rachel Domone Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist, Locality Psychology Lead for East Lancs (ACS), Acting Professional Lead for Psychology – Adult Community Services Network, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust

Dr. Sylvia Dillon Chartered Clinical Psychologist, Chartered Counselling Psychologist, Clinical Neuropsychologist 

Reinhard Guss Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Kent and Medway NHS Trust, BPS/FPOP Dementia Workstream Lead

Jenny Lafontaine Senior Lecturer, Association for Dementia Studies, Institute of Health and Society, University of Worcester

Prof. Esme Moniz-Cook Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Humber Mental Health Teaching NHS Trust- Honorary Professor of Clinical Psychology and Ageing, University of Hull

Keith Oliver Dementia Service User Envoy, Kent and Medway NHS Trust, Member of Alzheimer Society Advisory Group on Service User Involvement

Barbara Pointon MBE Alzheimer Society and Dementia UK Ambassador, Member of the Standing Commission on Carers and Ministerial Advisory Group on Dementia

Dr. Candy Stone, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Psychological Services (older people's services), Oxford Health

Sue Watts Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Head of Psychology Services for Older Adults,
Psychology Dept, Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust