Saturday, 17 November 2012

Government action on dementia

Many of us will have seen first hand just how debilitating this disease can be for friends and loved ones. That is why I am really pleased to be able to say the Government is taking this issue very seriously.

Following the Dementia Challenge progress report, the government has announced a number of measures as part of the next phase of the Dementia Challenge. These measures will build upon the steps already taken to help the 800,000 people currently living with dementia in the UK, and include:
£9.6 million for dementia research: This is to fund the expansion of the UK Biobank to include 8,000 brain scans, to help scientists discover why some people develop dementia and others do not.
Extra support for GPs on dementia: This is to better equip them to spot and diagnose dementia, and to help people with dementia and their carers to manage the condition. There will be a dementia toolkit for surgeries, and a requirement on health care professionals to ask patients aged between 65 and 74 about their memory as part of every standard health check.
Pilot with schools and youth projects: This ambitious pilot will help young people across the country become dementia aware, helping students understand more about the condition. The aim is for the pilot to be expanded into a nationwide programme.
£1 million prize fund for ways to increase diagnosis: Funding will be awarded to NHS organisations that find groundbreaking ways to drastically reduce the number of people with dementia who are undiagnosed by health care professionals.
A £50 million fund for environments designed for people with dementia: This funding is to create areas in care homes and hospitals that help to reduce anxiety and distress in people with dementia, and help them feel safe.
A commitment on information for people diagnosed with dementia: Every person diagnosed with dementia will be able to obtain detailed information on services and support, as part of the Our Health online service directories, which currently covers the South West of England and will be rolled out across England by the end of March 2013.
42 organisations signed up to the Dementia Care and Support Compact: The 42 signatories to the compact represent 1,800 care services committing to standards of care and treatment for people with dementia.
Find out more about these and other initiatives and achievements on the Dementia Challenge website.