DoH plans to designate GP dementia care advisors to patients

An immediate review into the prescribing and use of anti-psychotic drugs to treat sufferers of dementia has been launched by the DoH as part of its national dementia strategy.

This follows an investigation which found that GPs were still prescribing the drugs risperidone and olanzapine despite safety concerns issued in 2004 by the MHRA.

The strategy will also aim to increase the awareness of dementia and to encourage early diagnosis of the condition.

A number of memory clinics, where patients can go to get information about their condition and learn how to improve their memory, have been proposed.

The strategy also includes plans to assign every patient with dementia a ‘dementia care advisor' who can be their single contact throughout diagnosis and treatment. The care advisor could be a GP, a nurse or even a charity worker.

Health minister Ivan Lewis said that the strategy would help to ‘improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their families, improve the quality of care dementia suffers received, increase awareness of the condition and ensure earlier diagnosis and intervention.'

The final strategy will be published in the autumn.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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