Specialist services in early diagnosis and support for older people with dementia in England: Staff roles and service mix
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OBJECTIVES: This study investigated staff roles and tasks in Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT) and memory clinics, which are provided within a framework determined by local Clinical Commissioning Groups. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey design was used to collect data in England in 2015. Teams were identified by mental health providers (n = 68) and invited to complete a questionnaire. RESULTS: Fifty-one NHS Trusts responded to the request. The response rate varied. Data were obtained for all Clinical Commissioning Groups areas in 3 of the 9 regions in England, but only half in one of them. CMHTs were significantly more likely to have larger staff groups. Compared with memory clinics they were also more likely to have staff that were not professionally qualified. The occupational therapist role showed a strong association with the provision of all services in CMHTs. Both CMHTs and memory clinics provided information and advice about dementia. CMHTs provided more services associated with the support of a person with dementia at home. CONCLUSION: Variations in the staff mix in CMHTs and memory clinics reflected their different functions. There was limited evidence in both of profession specific interventions relating to the provision of support, information, therapy and education, associated with either diagnosis or long-term support. The potential for a single service to undertake both diagnostic and long-term support and the associated costs and benefits are areas for future research.