Alzheimer’s Society has warned that people with dementia are people “ignored and neglected” by the Government as a new poll shows the majority of MPs who overwhelmingly believe dementia services are underfunded, and that urgent social care investment is desperately needed.
More than three quarters of MPs (77%) believe social care is underfunded, according to a You Gov survey, commissioned by Alzheimer’s Society as part of its ongoing Fix Dementia Care campaign.
The survey also revealed that the majority of MPs (80%) think dementia care should be mostly or 100 per cent funded by the state, this includes 70% of Conservative MPs and 90% of Labour MPs.
The results are revealed ahead of a Westminster debate today (Tuesday 25 June 2019) where MPs are expected to issue a fresh demand that the Government intervene to improve dementia care funding.
The Fix Dementia Care campaign has revealed that typically, people with dementia spend £100,000 on their care – an astronomical sum, which would take 125 years to save for, well over a lifetime.
People with dementia often face higher costs for their care, costing an average 15% more than if they had standard social care.
In the survey commissioned by the charity, 101 MPs were asked questions relating to the funding of dementia care. MPs were asked whether they thought general care for people with dementia, and carers and families, was underfunded, and also specifically GP services for people with dementia.
Each area was deemed to be underfunded by a minimum of 77% of MPs, additionally hospital care was felt to be underfunded by 63%.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said:
‘The message could not be clearer: by far the majority of MPs believe large-scale government investment is required to improve social care, and yet the needs of people with dementia are still being neglected and ignored by the Government.
‘Social care is in a desperate state, in urgent need of a complete overhaul. Decades of underfunding have left people with dementia struggling with a system that is unfair and unsustainable.
‘The NHS Long-Term Plan will fail without dementia care being addressed. We are calling for urgent investment in high quality care through a dedicated £2.4bn Dementia Fund, while a long term solution on social care is sought.
‘The injustice of people battling to get care, on top of battling the devastating effects of dementia can’t go on. People with dementia are as deserving of NHS support as those with other diseases like cancer or stroke.
‘The dementia debate being held in Parliament today (25th June 2019) is a perfect opportunity for MPs to be demanding that dementia care remains on the agenda and is pushed as an urgent matter that the future Prime Minister must address.
‘We’re calling for MPs to back our campaign and demand that the Government brings forward an urgent plan to fix dementia care.’
According to the survey, 65% of MPs said they would support a dedicated Dementia Fund, including 59% of Conservatives and 74% of Labour MPs.
Alzheimer’s Society’s Fix Dementia Care campaign is calling for a £2.4bn Dementia Fund, mapped within plans to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan and then established in the upcoming Spending Review.
This will end the dementia penalty that people with dementia and their families are asked to pay on top of standard costs, bringing fairness into the system and improving quality of care while a long-term funding solution is sought. To support the campaign, visit www.alzheimers.org.uk/fixdementiacare