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News archive - April/May 2012

Dementia ‘champions’ to drive improvements in care

Dementia ‘champions’ to drive improvements in care

THREE ‘Champion Groups’ are being established to drive improvements in dementia services and deliver on the Prime Minister’s commitment to making the UK a ‘world leader’ on the disease, which costs society an estimated £19 billion a year.

With the research budget set to double to £66m by 2015, actions for bringing about improvements in care will include increasing diagnosis, rewarding best practice, ensuring memory services are both established across the country and accredited, giving people with dementia access to high quality services.

The three champion groups bring together representatives from the health sector, social care, local government and charities. They will be tasked with driving work on the ground to ensure that health and social care services get to grips with improving services for both people with dementia and their carers, and will report on progress in September and again in March 2013.

Dementia is one of the biggest challenges facing the health and social care system and David Cameron said it was a “scandal” that the country hadn’t kept pace with it. In England, 670,000 people have dementia and the number of people developing the disease is increasing. Care Services Minister Paul Burstow commented: “Early diagnosis is key as it allows people to plan for their future, preventing the need for crisis intervention, premature admission to hospital care, and this delivers better outcomes for people with dementia, enabling them to live well.”

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