Riversiders wanted to explore the experiences of people with dementia in relation to the GP annual review process. Annual reviews are specified in the General Practice Contract and reflected in their electronic record system. Group members felt that annual reviews were varied, with many people not having one. The group wanted to find out (a) the proportion of people with dementia who have had an annual review at their GP practice; (b) the content and quality of the reviews; (c) whether the reviews were felt to be worthwhile by the person with dementia.
The group created a questionnaire – an online version and in paper copy, and circulated through the DEEP network. seventy three questionnaires were completed. The results showed that few people with dementia get an annual review from their GP practice that is any way meaningful to them, in terms of wellbeing and future planning. Care plans were only given to two people, and future care planning was not discussed at all (even though it is specified in the record system used by many GPs).
The group are aiming to engage with GPs and NHS England to improve annual reviews and primary care for people with dementia generally.