GPs to receive more training to spot dementia

GPs will receive more training and support in diagnosing people with dementia, in plans announced as part of the government's five-year strategy on the condition.

Care home: GPs to receive dementia training
Care home: GPs to receive dementia training

The 'prime minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020', announced on Saturday, pledges £300m investment into dementia research and training for 1.3 million NHS staff, including GPs.

GPs will be encouraged to use an existing dementia toolkit that promotes early diagnosis, and will receive ‘more information and support as part of their ongoing training’, a spokesman for 10 Downing Street told GP.

Leading role

GPs will also ‘play a leading role in ensuring co-ordination and continuity of care for people with dementia, as part of the existing commitment that from 1 April 2015 everyone will have access to a named GP with overall responsibility and oversight for their care’, the plans say.

Post-diagnosis support initiatives, such as cognitive stimulation therapy and having a dementia adviser, are being ‘robustly tested’, the strategy says.

The government hopes to boost the number of dementia diagnoses to two-thirds of the estimated 676,000 people in England who have the condition, but incentives encouraging GPs to diagnose patients have come under fire.

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