Clinical guidelines on mental health

Clinical guidelines
Date Published:
31 December 2013
Last updated: 
04 August 2014

NICE has published a Dementia resource for carers and care providers for supporting people to live well with dementia. It will help care providers to improve services by implementing this quality standard. It will also help carers to recognise the standard of care they should expect for the people they support. Both resources have key messages and provide links to further information and practical tools.

Key messages

A care worker could be the one who sees the first signs that a person is struggling with their memory, may be the one that people or their families discuss their concerns with, and is well placed to give reassurance. Care providers are not there to diagnose dementia, but everyone needs to:

  • Know the early signs and what else it might be
  • Encourage the person to visit their GP or arrange for this to happen
  • Understand when their manager needs to be informed

It is also beneficial for all care providers to have a basic understanding of how a diagnosis of dementia is made and the first steps in seeking this in their locality. It will be helpful if everyone understands the potential benefits of getting a diagnosis but also recognises the impact that it can have on a person. People will vary as to when they feel ready to seek a diagnosis and family members may feel quite differently. If care providers have this knowledge and understanding, they will be well-placed to provide support.

In December 2013 NICE published a quality standard (QS50) on the Mental wellbeing of older people living in care homes which focuses on support for people to improve their mental wellbeing so that they can stay as well and independent as possible. These standards are intended to help care homes tackle loneliness, depression and low self-esteem in older people. With the number of older people in the UK set to rise to 16 million over the next 20 years and more people living longer than ever before, the quality standard on the mental wellbeing of older people in care homes describes how services should be configured to ensure people in care homes receive excellent care and support.

To support the quality standard they have produced a 23 minute video. Made by the NICE collaborating centre for social care it aims to help organisations and people use the standard. The film focuses primarily on a roundtable event which took place in March 2014 at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, and included key organisations from the health and social care sector discussing each of the six quality statements; what they mean and how they can be put into practice. Also in attendance at the event were some of the older people resident at the Royal Chelsea Hospital infirmary who discussed what the quality statements meant to them and recounted their own experiences of living in a care home.

In addition, NICE have a produced a Tailored resource for managers of care homes for older people including residential and nursing accommodation, day care and respite care.

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