An ageing population and an associated increase in the prevalence of dementia are of increasing concern in the United Kingdom and worldwide. Recently, the United Kingdom and other European countries implemented national dementia strategies to address this. This paper reports on the outcomes of a focus group study involving people with dementia and carers on their experiences of dementia care and support services in relation to government and third sector agencies' objectives and recommendations. Three focus groups comprising carers and people with dementia (n = 27) were undertaken covering topics related to experiences, service receipt, information sharing and service development. Some participants experienced difficulties or delays in receiving a dementia diagnosis and in accessing appropriate care. The provision of training, timeliness of information, access to appropriate advice, and consistent and flexible services were deemed important. The findings suggest that some issues raised by participants were highlighted in earlier policy objectives and recommendations but remain of central concern. The projected growth in the number of people with dementia coupled with reduced availability of informal care and increased demand for services emphasises the need to transform dementia care in the United Kingdom.
Keywords: care services; carers; dementia strategy; diagnosis; focus group.
© The Author(s) 2013.