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The health secretary Jeremy Hunt is determined to boost diagnosis rates and help people live well with the condition to make the UK the most dementia-friendly society by 2020.

With dementia numbers rising every year, the government is determined to improve early diagnosis rates and make the UK society the most dementia-friendly in the world. That’s what Jeremy Hunt has said after unveiling the government’s dementia plan.

They’ve set out a series of commitments which include:

– Awareness raising, education and discussion of risk reduction for dementia in the NHS Health Check will be extended for the first time to those aged 40 or older – down from 65 currently, in a pilot scheme in partnership with voluntary organisations like the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK. These pilots will be evaluated by the NHS Health Check expert scientific and clinical advisory panel (ESCAP) with a view to national roll out.

– For the first time, people with dementia and their families will be able to make meaningful comparisons about the quality of dementia care in their area.

– Ofsted-style ratings for diagnosis and quality of care will be published by clinical commissioning group area this year.

– Personalised care plans for every patient from their GP.

– A new aim for 10 per cent of all people diagnosed with dementia to take part in research.

– The Care Quality Commission will include standards of dementia care in their inspections.

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said:

‘A dementia diagnosis can bring fear and heartache, but I want Britain to be the best place in the world to live well with dementia. Last Parliament we made massive strides on diagnosis rates and research – the global race is now on to find a cure for dementia and I want the UK to win it.

‘This Parliament I want us to make big progress on the quality of care and treatment. Hospitals can be frightening and confusing places for people with dementia, so our new plan will guarantee them safer seven day hospital care, as well as tackling unacceptable variations in quality across England through transparent Ofsted style ratings.’

“The global race is now on to find a cure for dementia and I want the UK to win it.”
Jeremy Hunt

His comments come after the Government doubled research funding and invested £150m to develop a national Dementia Research Institute to drive forward new treatments and help fulfil the goal to find a cure by 2025.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of our founding charity partner, The Alzheimer’s Society, said:

‘We applaud the Government’s firm commitment to make the UK the most dementia friendly place in the world. Until recently, people with dementia were effectively cast out from society, but the tide is now turning. There are now nearly 1.5 million dementia friends helping to drive this change, and communities up and down the country are working to make streets, towns and cities more inclusive.

‘But still many people with dementia face stigma and a health and care system that simply does not work for them – resulting in emergency hospital admissions, extended stays and desperate loneliness. We look forward to leading the continued transformation of society and investment in research so that, by 2020, people with dementia get the support they need every day of the year – whether that be at home, in residential care, hospital or in the wider community.’

For more information on dementia-friendly communities, click here.