Public Health England has published a new Dementia Profile that allows, for the first time, tailored comparison between local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups in England through a single interactive online platform.

The Profile enables sharing of key information between localities, such as number of people with dementia and their age, the number who have received an NHS health check, the number with depression and emergency hospital admissions data.

It should help commissioners better fulfil planning objectives by providing the information necessary to identify variation, investigate the reasons for any differences, and ultimately improve outcomes.

For example, the national rate for the number of people with dementia aged 65 or over being admitted to hospital as an emergency in 2013/14 was 3,046 per 100,000. So if a CCG has a significantly higher proportion than this, further investigation is warranted, Public Health England said. 

“Having all this data available in one place presents major opportunities to commissioners, local authorities and decision makers to change how dementia and dementia services look across the country,” noted John Newton, chief knowledge officer at PHE.

“One of the problems in preventing poor care has been a lack of information and transparency. This important resource is a step towards tackling the postcode lottery, supporting commissioners to make evidence-based decisions about what services are needed, while shining a light on areas in need of improvement,” added George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society.