/ Health, Home & Energy

Dementia care: is it a postcode lottery?

Is the quality of dementia care in the UK sufficient enough to support people with dementia?

Every single week it seems we get a new story about dementia care provision.

It might be the challenge we face with a growing elderly population, or the reality for many people today in finding decent health care for a loved one.

Last week the Government published an atlas which set out for the first time the quality of dementia care in England. The report makes worrying reading for many patients and carers.

Dementia care performance

This atlas shows the quality of services for patients suffering from dementia and highlights where local authorities fail to meet  NHS guidelines.

One of the key guidelines is that every patient should have a face-to-face meeting – at least once a year – to have their care plan reviewed. The map shows that in many areas this is not being delivered.

There are large contrasts in the performance of care across the country notably with these face-to-face meetings. For example, in North East Lincolnshire over 85% of patients are seen once a year, while in Somerset, fewer than half of patients get that vital meeting.

Support and advice

More and more we’ll need to use such information to help us make tough or even heart-breaking decisions in life. But data like this also helps us to hold local authorities to account for the way they look after elderly people.

If you’re looking for help for your relative or friend, Which? Elderly Care gives you guidance about housing options, day-to-day living arrangements and how to pay for care. In particular, the site has information about Dementia and other memory problems. If you are looking for local support for people living with dementia, you can find this in the Care services directory.

Over to you

Have you had experience with the care system, in particular with dementia care? Do you think the provision of care is sufficient enough?


To me its all about the governments “care in the community” legislation which is all about saving money and hospital beds because of cut backs . The onus is now put on relatives of the person suffering, has anybody any conception of the amount of personal attention needed when looking after somebody , year in -year out , in my case not for dementia of my wife but a major stroke from which she has never recovered , no holidays , no relief just 24/7 care by myself . Well that applies to those looking after dementia sufferers and what help do they get ? For my pains ZERO financial help , yet I am on a low fixed income but I am saving the government £10000,s , yet when I look at the tax dodgers leading a great life and BB which is still dodging its responsibilities it makes me very angry . My cousin , a college lecturer contracted dementia while still relatively young , he never married and his parents had died , his sister lived 50 miles away so for 8 years he spent time in hospital , not a general hospital but a psychiatric hospital , he died last year and he was about 10 years younger than me . Would he have lived any longer ” in the community ” if he had a relative looking after him ? thats debatable as he died of the “standard ” type of death when an absolute cause can not be determined . When told about it -I cried , as I live 100 miles away and could not visit him as I could not leave my wife . What I want this government to do is recognise people like me all over the British Isles who are doing what amounts to a public service , because all that happens to me is that I am made poorer and poorer by the government in removal of benefits .

Professional nanny says:
28 August 2016

I looked after my mother and was told I saved the country tens of thousands in hospital costs. As a result, these years were cut from my State Pension which was already reduced as I spent 28 years looking after family under 16, nore than the maximum allowed. If we care, it seems we are trated as ‘mugs’, I could have been at work earning a good pension but I do not regret my decision even if managing is difficult. My consciebnce is clear.


Professional nanny – as a certain long dead Irish comedian/ talk show host said at the end of his TV shows –may God be with you.


I am afraid I must correct you there Duncan. Aware that not everybody recognised the same god, Dave Allen always said “May your god go with you” – a subtle but important distinction.


I was waiting on that John , so a “Gold star ” to you . I changed it to express a point that even though she might not have any beliefs , that doesnt matter , because what she did was more “Christian” than many so called Christians who walk into church/chapel to make themselves “look good ” in the eyes of society while here,s a woman that actually does the will of God ,even if she has no religion . Its not down to religion in life its down Love and Charity (giving of themselves not a few ££ to a “charity”) that is the ultimate sacrifice of a human being . While heaven might not be what the bible says in the end you are still judged by someone better than yourself. Not PC but there you are.

dieseltaylor says:
26 August 2016

I am astonished DL that you get no carer support payments or whatever the current term is!

The links provided in the atlas to the organisations , charities etc is useful.


There is financial support automatically available for carers who meet certain financial conditions, as I understand it. I am a believer in family looking after family wherever possible. I think it is an integral part, and responsibility, of family life, whether children, adults or the elderly. It is essentially care based on love – the wish to help those who you are close to and who have been your life. However I do feel for those whose life is tied to this; not as an outsider either. I do not think we should use the state, and anonymous institutions, to take over a role that family should fulfill – unless there is no alternative. I understand completely what duncan says, and feels; and carers should get assistance.

Professional nanny says:
28 August 2016

My mother in law was cared for by her husband until he was 94 and had a fall which left him crippled and in care. He was unable to save himself on account of a lost limb in WWII. As a result they both ended up in care and the house was sold as the care package cost more than his four pensions!
We have won a court case which should have resulted in a payment of thousands of pounds for her dementia care but are informed that the chances of this being paid are almost nil as NHS would have to pay.
We argue that a WWII veteran with pensions for two limbs and an occupational and state pension should be able to afford his care without selling up the home to pay fopr his and his wife’s care.
Surely, something is wrong with Britain’s care provision to let this happen. He is angry that his children and grandchildren will inherit nothing and no wonder! No point in replying; this is just for information as it seems so heartless.

A Carer says:
28 August 2016

I agree with Duncan, the aid to those of us who care for family members is…. Appalling… at the very best
For the individual involved and for the carer who more often than not becomes ill due to the lack of support.
I have been taking care of my aunt now 99… her condition is not to severe, however she need 24/7 supervision day and night, her ability to do things changes all the time, as does her ability to understand many things .
While I agree family take a large role in caring for family members, it should also be remembered we and especially people like my aunt paid into the system from day one… a promise… no a guarantee/contract was made when setting up health care, that has now been broken, but the duty remains.
How it is today, social services treat the carers like scum!, forever implying family are the biggest abusers of those needing care, when in fact it is those provided by social services that are the most likely to abuse the ward, so many old people I know (not just suffers of dementia) have told me they stopped services provided by social services because of 1 type of abuse or another… and then blamed by social services for the breakdown (not being in, being rude or offensive to care staff etc… etc.. etc..) and care in the homes is as bad or worse, two family members I have lost…
my mother who’s lung capacity had reduced to such a degree that with help and using a wheel chair it would take around 10-15 minutes to get her out of her bed to the bathroom 4mtrs away, then a good 30 mins or more to t