A smiling carer chats with an elderly lady

National Dementia Strategy – falling short

The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) has not held back in its criticism of the Department of Health in its latest report.

”Despite stating at least 10 times at our earlier hearing that Dementia would be a national priority – it still isn’t”.

The report makes clear that the DoH does not know how the £60 million of the “initial seed funding” has been spent. It seems the Primary Care Trusts don’t know either.

The key objectives including early diagnosis, unacceptable regional variations and poor levels of care are simply not being addressed.

It is astonishing that the inappropriate and excessive prescribing of anti-psychotic drugs for people with dementia, particularly those living in care homes, contributes to an estimated 1,800 additional deaths each year.

1,800 deaths per year. That is a staggering number. The truth is that if you cause or contribute to the death of someone who has no husband or wife or minor children, life is cheap. There is no economic cost, just a huge emotional cost which the families carry. I can see little hope that the position will improve.