Headlines: June 24th, 2008

Directors of adult social services have given strong backing to a Government consultation which has been launched to help shape the content of its Dementia Strategy, due to be published in the autumn. Jenny Owen, the Vice President of ADASS, said the process marked the beginning of important improvements in the way people suffering with dementia were cared for.

Welcoming the consultation she said, “Increasingly we are beginning to concentrate on positive and empowering outcomes for people with dementia, rather than simply concentrating on the difficulties which can arise for them.” Ms. Owen, who also co-chairs the National Dementia Strategy working group with Professor Sube Bannerjee, added, “Bringing the principles of personalised care to bear on their services will mean enabling dementia sufferers, as far
as possible, to exercise control over the types of support, care and facilities they want which will help them to live safely and maintain their quality of life.”

The strategy is due to be published in October but in launching the consulation the Health Minister Ivan Lewis said the strategy would have three main aims, increasing awareness of dementia and removing the stigma associated with it, ensuring early diagnosis and intervention and improving the quality of care.

Mr. Lewis also announced some immediate actions alongside the proposals to be consulted on. These include an immediate review into the prescription and use of anti-psychotic drugs for dementia sufferers. There are estimated to be 570,000 people with dementia in England and that figure is expected to double in the next 30 years.