SDCP Assessment Pathways

DC EDM 800

Assessment Pathways: Specialist Dementia Care Program 

The Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP) is a new Australian Government initiative which aims to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of people who are living with dementia and exhibiting severe and enduring behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), sometimes referred to as responsive behaviours.

The SDCP targets people with dementia who are unable to be appropriately cared for by the majority of aged care services and uses a person-centred, multidisciplinary approach. The program aims to improve a person’s presentation of responsive behaviours over time with the aim of enabling their transition to a less intensive care setting. It is estimated that up to one per cent of all people living with dementia will be in need of this service which is represented at tier 6 on the Brodaty, Draper and Low (2003) model of management for BPSD.

HammondCare in partnership with the University of New South Wales is currently developing a robust eligibility criteria, and a clear clinical assessment pathway to guide objective clinical decision making concerning entry to and exit from the SDCP. In addition, the decision making tool and clinical pathway will be used to help ensure that access to the service is fair and equitable for all eligible people living with dementia throughout Australia.

In order to meet the eligibility criteria for entry to a SDCP, a person’s current presentation of responsive behaviours needs to be primarily related to a dementia diagnosis. An expert reference group consisting of medical professionals, consumers and policy makers has been established to help guide the development of the decision making tool.

In addition, HammondCare is planning a series of webinars and roundtable discussions, early in 2019, to inform stakeholders about the role of HammondCare in the project and to seek valuable input from stakeholders from within the community to assist in the development and refinement of the tool.

 Expert reference group and representative 

Chairperson, Scientia Professor Henry Brodaty (NSW)

LASA - State Manager, Veronica Jamison (Victoria)

ACSA - Policy Officer, Heather Engelhardt (South Australia)

FPOA - Dr Helen McGowan (WA)

WA Department of Health - Senior Policy Officer, Andrea Lomman (WA)

Stream Lead for Metro South (QLD), Aged Care and Rehabilitation, Director of Geriatric Medicine PAH, Dr Paul Varghese (QLD)

Clinical Director, Aged Person’s Mental Health, Professor Kuruvilla George (Victoria)

Consumer Representative, Person living with dementia, Theresa Flavin

Carer of a person with dementia (former), Joan Jackman

Dementia Australia - Executive Director Consumer Engagement, Policy and Research, Kaele Stokes (Victoria)

BaptistCare - Dementia Care Nurse, Marleina Fahey (NSW)

University of Sydney - Professor Lee Fay Low



These Round Tables are for aged care providers, health departments, clinicians and professionals with an interest in aged care and dementia.  If you are a person with dementia or a family carer and interested in this initiative, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brisbane Roundtable

Date: Monday 18th February
Venue: Mercure Brisbane, Burke Room, 85 – 87 North Quay
Time: 1pm – 3pm
Click here to register for Brisbane

Darwin Roundtable

Date: Wednesday 20th February
Venue: Novotel Darwin CBD, Brolga Room,100 The Esplanade
Time: 2pm – 4pm
Click here to register for Darwin

Canberra Roundtable

Date: Tuesday 26th February 2019
Time: 2pm – 4pm
Venue: Hotel Kurrajong,The Kurrajong Room, 8 National Circuit
Click here to register for Canberra

Melbourne Roundtable

Date: Wednesday 27th February 2019
Time: 1pm – 3pm
Venue: Crowne Plaza, Bridge Room 5, 1-5 Spencer Street
Click here to register for Melbourne

Hobart Roundtable

Date: Friday 1st March 2019
Time: 1pm – 3pm
Venue: Rydges, Edwardian Room, Corner Argyle & Lewis Street
Click here to register for Hobart

Adelaide Roundtable

Date: Monday 4th March 2019
Time: 1pm – 3pm
Venue: Rydges, Skyline North & West Room, 1 South Terrace
Click here to register for Adelaide

Perth Roundtable

Date: Tuesday 5th March 2019
Time: 1pm - 3pm
Venue: Mantra on Murray, Room 2, 305 Murray Street
Click here to register for Perth

Sydney Roundtable

Date: Thursday 7th March 2019
Time: 2pm – 4pm
Venue: Novotel Darling Harbour, The Hunters Room 3 & 4, 100 Murray Street
Click here to register for Sydney



Find out more   

For more information on the SDCP Assessment Project, please visit the Department of Health website or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive updates.