Headlines: September 29th, 2010

Plans have been unveiled to hold local organisations to account over care for people with dementia. They will be expected to publish details of how they are providing quality care for sufferers under proposals from the Care Service Minister Paul Burstow.

The proposals are part of the revised Dementia Strategy Implementation Plan, which lays down the Coalition Government’s focus on outcomes. It identifies four priorities, good-quality early diagnosis and intervention for everyone, improved quality of care in general hospitals, living well with dementia in care homes and a reduction in the use of antipsychotic medication.

The ideas have been welcomed by the Alzheimer’s Society, which said they provided an exciting opportunity to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Mr. Burstow said dementia was one of the most important issues society faced as the population aged. The plan, he said, was not about extra resources but making smarter use of what was available. “It’s about getting resources to the people that need them rather than tied up in backroom bureaucracy. Local organisations will be expected to publish how they are delivering on quality outcomes so that they can be held to account by local people,” he said.

Ruth Sutherland, the interim chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society said the plan recognised ‘the dementia crisis facing us today’ and that the disease had to be made a priority. “Investing sensibly in dementia now will improve people’s lives and could potentially save hundreds of millions of pounds,” she said.