MPs call for greater focus on dementia care

Dementia costs the NHS £14 billion a year but primary care professionals are not adequately trained to help patients with the condition, and many receive no formal diagnosis, a report by MPs says.

The findings are from a report published today by the House of Commons' Public Accounts Committee.

MPs say dementia has not been prioritised by the NHS because healthcare organisations and professionals have focused on aspects of healthcare that carry DoH targets.

Between half and two thirds of people with dementia never receive a formal diagnosis for the condition, and the report says GP practices need more support from mental health teams to reverse this.

The report calls for a DoH campaign to raise awareness among health professionals of symptoms of the condition and ways to treat or control it. It adds that once diagnosed, dementia patients should be given a ‘single health or social care professional contact point' to help manage their condition.

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