Investigation into patient experience of dementia diagnosis, Hartlepool

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Hartlepool decided to look at the issue of dementia diagnosis as part of its ongoing interest in the provision of dementia care and treatment services. In November 2015 questionnaires were sent to all GP surgeries in Hartlepool. The questionnaire asked about the process the individual practices followed with patients from a possible problem being identified through to diagnosis and ongoing treatment and support. Generally, we received a positive impression of the dementia diagnostic services provided by the eight practices who returned questionnaires. It must be said however, that overall, practices were slow to respond and despite several reminders only 50% of the practices in the town returned the questionnaire. Around 30 patients, carers and family members with recent experience of the dementia diagnosis process have input into our investigation. This has been through one to one discussions and larger focus group events. We are extremely grateful to all those who have taken time to speak to us and their input is are extremely valuable. Overall there was evidence that diagnosis and associated procedures have improved across the GP practices that returned questionnaires. Awareness levels among staff appears to have improved and staff training on dementia awareness now happens routinely in most Practices. This includes administrative and reception staff as well as well as GPs and nurses. However, service development in this area is still a “work in progress” and there is still scope for further improvement. Recommendations made are that the findings and conclusions above are noted and acted upon by all relevant parties and that Healthwatch Hartlepool continues to monitor the ongoing development of patient experience of service delivery in this area.

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General details

Report title 
Investigation into patient experience of dementia diagnosis, Hartlepool
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Hartlepool
Date of publication 
Thursday, 1 September, 2016
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 11 November, 2015
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 11 November, 2015
Type of report 
Patient experience
Key themes 
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Other information of note about this report 
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
User stories
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Types of long term conditions 
Heart disease
Learning disability

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.