Top doctors to oversee dementia care

A senior doctor will oversee dementia care in every hospital in England under new government plans to be announced today.













Health Secretary Alan Johnson and Care Services Minister Phil Hope will unveil the long-awaited National Dementia Strategy, which is aimed at improving diagnosis and treatment while saving almost £1bn.



It will stipulate a senior clinician in every hospital and care home to ensure that the needs of dementia sufferers are met.



There are currently around 700,000 people in the UK with dementia but the figure is rising as people live longer.



Today's strategy will also outline plans to provide more support to carers with the aim of preventing or delaying the admission of sufferers to care homes.



But a review of the use of anti-psychotic drugs - one of the most controversial aspects of caring for people with dementia in care homes - will not be published until the spring.



As previously announced, every GP will be trained to spot the first signs of dementia while "memory clinics" will be set up in every town to help sufferers live their lives as normally as possible.



Neil Hunt, chief executive of Alzheimer's Society, said today's announcement was a "momentous opportunity" to avert a "dementia crisis that could overwhelm the NHS and social care".



He added: "Government plans to appoint lead clinicians to champion dementia in hospital and care settings could transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.



"Over two thirds of people in care homes have dementia. Improving care could reduce hospital admissions, length of stays in hospitals and transform the quality of care being delivered."



Mr Hunt said that one in three people over 65 would die with dementia but there was currently a "systematic failure" to provide good dementia care in the UK.



The Alzheimer's Research Trust welcomed the strategy but said there was little in there about dementia research.



Chief executive Rebecca Wood said: "This strategy is only the first step to tackling our dementia crisis and it is a huge letdown that so much has been left out.



"It is astonishing that dementia research is not a fundamental component of this strategy, and disappointing that the review of antipsychotic drugs has been delayed yet again.



"It is not clear if sufficient funds will be made available to fulfil what is included in the strategy."



A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said the number of dementia sufferers would double in the next 30 years, with the costs of the illness tripling.



"Dementia is one of the most important issues we face as the population ages," she said. "That's why we're publishing the first National Dementia Strategy.



"It will set out how we can transform services, through a combination of better training, earlier intervention and real support for people with dementia and their families."



Bupa currently has almost 7,000 people with dementia in its 300 UK care homes, and around 75 per cent are state-funded.



Dr Graham Stokes, head of mental health for Bupa Care Services, said the company was working with the Alzheimer's Society to deliver a specialist dementia lead in its care homes during 2009.



"I welcome the principle of the National Dementia Strategy but the Government is still in danger of failing people with dementia and their families," he added.



Clare Moonan, Parkinson's Disease Society health policy and campaign manager, added: "Our main areas of concern for people with Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) are twofold.



"Firstly, we believe that any new specialist dementia services must be fully integrated with neurology and care of the elderly services as part of a multi-disciplinary team, which can provide the right package of care. Otherwise people with PDD are in danger of being treated within movement disorder services and not benefiting from the treatments offered by these new posts.



"Secondly, we know that much more support is needed for carers of the one in three people with Parkinson's coping with the 'double whammy' of Parkinson's and some form of dementia in the UK. This is an extremely complex condition that requires a significant level of assistance and understanding."

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Parker says: 'I once had a taster use the phrase 'smells like the sex glands of a lemming'. Who in the world can relate to that?'
food + drinkRobert Parker's 100-point scale is a benchmark of achievement for wine-makers everywhere
News
i100
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

    £6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

    £12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

    Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

    £32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

    Day In a Page

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing