Abstract

Under the National Framework for NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) and NHS-funded nursing care, assessors have a duty to evaluate the needs of a wide range of people in order to determine whether any aspect of their care constitutes a ‘primary health need’. This guidance is designed to help CHC assessors evaluate the emotional and psychological needs of people in the later stages of dementia. It is based on research conducted by the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester, which involved a number of key phases including a review of the relevant literature, practice experience from CHC panels, Alzheimer’s Society and family carers as well as feedback from nurses who do not have specialist dementia knowledge. The guide examines the impact of dementia, looking at the psychological and emotional needs, sets out the questions to consider in the assessment, focusing on indicators of depressed mood, of hallucinations, of anxiety and distress, and of responsiveness to reassurance. It then explains how to carry out an assessment, looking at communicating effectively, assessing evidence from others who know the person well and other forms of evidence, and examining medication records. The guide concludes with advice on how to record the correct level of care needs.