British Psychological Society and the PM Challenge 2020

Thursday 26 October 2017

The DAA are aiming to shine a spotlight on the Prime Minister’s Challenge 2020 as we want to help the Department of Health implement this important piece of work. Reinhard Guss at BPS writes about what they are doing.

The British Psychological Society (BPS) promotes excellence and ethical practice in the science, education and practical applications of psychology. As a “Learned Society” the BPS is not directly involved in service provision for people with dementia and their families, but provides guidance, support and training to members, and information for the general public, services and commissioners.

BPS joined the DAA in 2013 as part of its thematic priority programme. Within the BPS at the time most of dementia related work took place in the Faculty of the Psychology of Older People (FPOP), while other sub-systems such as Health Psychology, Neuropsychology and Counselling Psychology covering additional aspects. In 2015 the BPS wide Dementia Advisory Group took up its work, chaired by Prof Linda Clare, initially reviewing the evidence base relating to Psychology and dementia. The resulting BPS position paper “Psychological Dimensions of Dementia – Putting the Person at the Centre of Care” is based around the I-Statements of the Dementia Declaration. 

Psychology and Psychologists are a core part of the dementia care pathway, and involved in delivering and improving care in pre-diagnostic discussions with people concerned over a possible dementia and their families, in the testing of memory and other thinking skills and in post-diagnosis support through psychology based treatments. An overview of this can be found in the doucment on Psychology across the dementia care pathway produced by FPOP, which was produced in collaboration with people who are living with dementia. An accessible version of this document was also produced in collaboration with DEEP.

Psychological and psychosocial interventions are dementia treatments with a growing evidence base that improve quality of life, support relationships and increase wellbeing. People with dementia and their families asked us to collate information on different psychosocial interventions, which resulted in the Guide to Psychosocial interventions. This allows readers to choose types of interventions according to their interests and needs and adds particularly to improvements in meaningful postdiagnostic care. 

The BPS Dementia Advisory is currently producing a series of evidence briefings for professionals, service providers and commissioners, that set out current psychological knowledge and practice across a range of issues. This includes working with BAME communities, addressing part of the DAA call to action on seldom heard communities. The Faculty of Psychology in Intellectual Disability has already published extensive guidance on Dementia in people with intellectual disabilities.

Finally, the Dementia Advisory Group is engaging people with dementia and carers in a National consultation on its work programme and the production of further accessible versions of it evidence briefings