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Government announces new plans to make UK ‘best place to live well with dementia’

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New dementia care measures have been announced to fulfil the government’s promise of making the UK “the best place in the world to live well with dementia”.

Plans for meeting David Cameron’s Challenge on Dementia 2020 include giving every person with dementia a personalised care plan and improving transparency to allow patients and their families to compare the quality of dementia care in the area.

The Care Quality Commission will also introduce inspection standards to ensure care is safe for people with dementia seven days a week, and a new NHS pilot will look into decreasing the age at which NHS Health Check patients start receiving guidance on avoiding dementia from 65 to 40.

Dementia diagnosis figures in the UK have increased by 25%, although this may be due to a controversial ‘cash for diagnosis’ scheme which has not been renewed.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt MP said: “A dementia diagnosis can bring fear and heartache, but I want Britain to be the best place in the world to live well with dementia. Last Parliament we made massive strides on diagnosis rates and research – the global race is now on to find a cure for dementia and I want the UK to win it.”

Previous government commitments to patients with dementia have included £300m investment and mandatory training for all NHS staff.

The dementia implementation plan also said that the seven-day NHS would benefit dementia patients by allowing patients to be reviewed by a consultant once a day, and twice in the case of high dependency patients, every day by 2020.

Hunt’s proposals for a seven-day NHS have led to a bitter dispute with junior doctors, who are set to strike again on Wednesday over a new contract offering less pay for working at weekends, and who have questioned how the seven-day NHS will be funded.

A recent Health and Social Care Information Centre report urged hospitals to develop more welcoming environments for people with dementia.

Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Since the first Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge was launched we’ve seen real progress in the fight against this devastating condition, and the beginnings of a social movement to rally people behind that fight.

“There is still much work to do, and Alzheimer’s Research UK welcomes this plan which signals a strong commitment to build on the achievements of recent years. We look forward to working with the government to deliver action on research and help accelerate the development of much-needed new treatments, preventions and improvements in diagnosis.”

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