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I’ve been reading an unsettling report, Cracks in the Pathway, which was released by CQC last week. It suggests that there’s an unacceptable quality gap in care for those living with dementia in both care homes and hospitals. Clearly, this must not continue.

CQC has made some recommendations, such as appointing training inspectors and a national specialist adviser, which could help to provide the necessary focus and resources. As a major care provider, we at MHA also understand our own role in maintaining quality within the sector. We have always concentrated our care on the person as a whole, nurturing body, mind and spirit. So I was interested to see that one problem was a focus on physical needs to the detriment of mental and spiritual well-being.

MHA’s unique dementia training programme The Person Inside, developed with Bradford University, has the whole person at its very core. I’m aware that our Quality Improvement team regularly assesses dementia care on many levels, including activities, environment, and, most importantly, what carers and loved ones have to say.

There’s also music therapy, provided without charge, to give a channel for communication and self expression to people living with dementia. Our recent research with East Anglia University found that it had demonstrable benefits. I know that our very own Chaplaincy Advisor Margaret Goodall discussed it on BBC Radio over the weekend, and it featured in our Radio 4 Appeal in July with Pam Rhodes.

Dementia care is about promoting all elements of well-being. It’s also about always being ready to learn and improve, and therefore taking reports such as this very seriously. We can then ask ourselves – as care providers, and as people whose loved ones may develop dementia or who may develop it ourselves – how we can all go about closing the quality gap in dementia care for good.

Adrian Bagg

Chief Executive

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