Today (28 February) Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt MP has announced a £90 million package to improve dementia diagnosis and care and the appointment of a World Dementia Envoy to raise funds for research towards a cure.
In addition, leading British businesses have also signed up to the cause with over 190,000 staff at M&S, Argos, Homebase, Lloyds Bank and Lloyds Pharmacy to learn to support customers who have dementia.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said
Comment on package to improve dementia diagnosis and tackle long waits for dementia assessments:
‘It is unacceptable that some people with dementia have to wait months to get a diagnosis. Today’s announcement is a positive step forward to increasing diagnosis rates and ensuring that no matter where you live you will receive a timely assessment.
‘Too often we hear about a lack of suitable services available to people with dementia and their carers. We welcome the focus on post-diagnosis support which will provide a vital life-line to thousands who are currently left in the dark, with nowhere to turn for advice or support. Everyone with dementia should have the opportunity to access a dementia advisor – someone who can focus on their needs throughout their journey with dementia.
Comment on appointment of World Dementia Envoy:
‘We are delighted that Dr Dennis Gillings CBE will champion dementia globally. The creation of a World Dementia Council will enhance and stimulate innovation. By sharing our knowledge and understanding of the disease we help to ensure a sustained global focus and investment in dementia research.
‘Under his leadership, by bringing together our best scientists, clinicians and researchers with those from across the globe we will speed up progress towards that all important cure.’
Comment on 190,000 new Dementia Friends on the high street:
‘Many people with dementia tell us that shopping and visiting their local high street can be stressful. We applaud Argos, Homebase, Marks & Spencer, Lloyds Banking Group and Lloyds Pharmacy on their commitment to help their staff understand more about dementia. By joining the tens of thousands of Dementia Friends already in local communities, they are playing their part in supporting people with dementia.’