Introduction This chapter briefly describes the nature and activities of dementia services development centres (DSOCs) in the UK and discusses some of the ways in which these centres have contributed to improving standards of dementia care.
Background The model of a DSDC, described in more detail below, was pioneered in Scotland where the first centre at Stirling was set up in 1989. The needs of people with dementia and their families had been a policy issue for some time before this. However, the issue had been largely subsumed within the broader policy contexts of developing old age psychiatry services, of shifting the balance of care from institutional to community settings and, linked to this, of addressing the needs of family carers (Cantley, 2001). The setting up of the first DSDC was a significant step in the recognition of 'dementia care' as an underdeveloped area that deserved specific, dedicated resources to develop knowledge, and to promote improvements and innovation in professional practice and service organization.