Health - Clear dementia plan is needed

The government record on caring for dementia patients is poor; the quality of treatment sufferers receive from the National Health Service is fragmented,

With some counties giving better service and other counties giving dementia sufferers poorer services. This state of affairs is not acceptable and needs to be changed with a clear and comprehensive plan.

The number of dementia sufferers is estimated to increase from the current 766,000 to 
1 million within the next decade, an extra 234,000 people will be diagnosed with suffering from dementia or one of its sister conditions.

Dementia suffers are not a burden or a problem, they are human beings with rights and feelings and dementia care has been overlooked by the politicians and by society. We need to ensure that the correct treatment is available to any dementia sufferer anywhere in England and that the NHS has the budget and the skilled personnel that are required to care for sufferers. On budgeting for dementia care, our NHS will be reformed with fewer managers and a more sensible pension scheme which excludes all earners over £50,000. We must plan ahead and put in place the equal funding per hospital that is required and ensure that GPs, when they suspect that a patient may have first stage dementia, that they are duty bound to refer that patient to a specialist.

One solution proposed by myself is that we have a national memory test for all adults over a certain age to ensure that patients with signs of dementia are assessed and begin treatment and support early. We need to ensure that dementia sufferers and their families are given full support in order to ensure that they can live independent lives and enjoy a quality of life. Through reforming NHS pay and pensions as outlined above we will keep money in reserve for recruiting 1,000 more specialist dementia care nurses and ensure that our hospitals have the space and money for specialist dementia clinics – palliative care is equal to medical care and so we will ensure dementia sufferers have access to specialist health visitors.

Oliver Healey

By email