Evaluation of the daisy Chain service: the role of the specialist general practitioner of occupational therapy–executive summary
- KA Radford, L Walker, J Gladman, D. Hewitt
- Br J Occup Ther
Background: we evaluated a specialist community-based dementia service to establish whether high quality care was being delivered and the conditions for doing so. The service was in an urban part of Rushcliffe Primary Care Trust, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom. The service comprised an assessment team of an occupational therapist, a community psychiatric nurse and a community care officer, supported by 235 h per week of care delivered by a team of specially trained community care workers. Methods: a qualitative study was performed using non-participant observation, semi-structured interviews and focus groups, and analysed using a thematic framework approach. There were 2 focus groups involving staff, 11 interviews of staff and stakeholders, and interviews of 15 carers of people with dementia. Results: the care provided was appreciated by carers, and the service was approved by staff and stakeholders. Care was delivered using a rehabilitative style that aimed to maintain personhood, rather than to promote independence. Clients were usually referred with the object of preventing unwanted admission to institutional care but, over time, moving into an institution ceased to be a uniformly undesirable outcome. The service’s resources were reduced during the evaluation period, in part to meet mental health needs in intermediate care services. Conclusions: an appropriately resourced and constructed specialist service using an adaptive rehabilitation approach aimed at maintaining personhood can deliver good individualised care to people with dementia, but specific and appropriate commissioning for these services is needed to nurture them.