Every GP will be trained to spot the first signs of dementia under plans to provide sufferers with a better quality of life, the Government said today.
"Memory clinics" will also be set up in every town as places where patients can get treatment and support to live their lives as normally as possible, Care Services Minister Phil Hope said.
A total of 700,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia.
Mr Hope said because the number of sufferers was going to double or triple, looking after them had to be a priority.
A national dementia strategy, to be launched next month, could save nearly £1 billion while providing better care, he added.
The minister told today's Daily Mail: "We want to see every GP trained to recognise the symptoms of early dementia and patients referred to specialist services in every area where they would get a proper diagnosis.
"As well as national training for GPs, we'd like to see memory clinics in every town where people can go for treatment and support to help them live their life as normally as possible.
"This could be provided by a range of different people, from geriatricians and psychiatrists to local GPs with a specialist interest, working in partnership and possibly involving the voluntary sector."
A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "We want to make sure that every GP is trained to spot the first signs of dementia, and to refer patients on to specialists.
"The Department of Health will work with all relevant medical and nursing organisations - including the Royal College of GPs, Skills for Care and the NHS - to make sure that appropriate training is provided for medical students, and we will create opportunities for post-graduate education and training in dementia."Reuse content