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Alzheimer's Society calls for an end to dementia care postcode lottery
Date of article: 17-Jun-10
Article By: Alzheimer's Society
Alzheimer's Society comment on new findings revealing that a third of PCTs do not have plans in place to say how they will implement the National Dementia Strategy for England.
Freedom of Information requests collected by GP newspaper found 38 of the 116 respondents did not have joint plans with local authorities. This is despite a deadline of 31 March being set in the strategy and reiterated by head of the NHS, David Nicholson earlier this year. Almost half of PCTs (47 per cent) also could not account for how or if strategy money had been spent.
Alzheimer's Society is now calling for the formation of close local and national partnerships with a strong dementia focus to end this uneven picture.
Responding to the findings, Andrew Chidgey, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer's Society, said:
'The only way the full galvanising force of the National Dementia Strategy for England can be realised is if it is effectively rolled out at a local level. Unfortunately, 18 months after the strategy was published, this is clearly not happening everywhere and people are at the mercy of a postcode lottery of care.'
'This is not the first time we have heard this. The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Dementia report 'A Misspent Opportunity' also found large numbers of PCTs failing to give evidence of how or if they were following the National Dementia Strategy for England. We currently spend £20bn a year on dementia. Better planning can help reduce this figure and also transform lives by creating high quality person-centred services.'
'One in three people over the age of 65 will die with dementia. We now need to see strong leadership at a local and national level if we are to turn this situation around and give these people the access to the help and support they deserve.'
'A Misspent Opportunity' which was first published in March has been updated this week to incorporate the responses of all PCTs that had responded by 31 May.
The latest APPG figures show nearly half (60) of 137 PCTs had not yet developed joint strategies with local authorities. It also found 60 per cent of respondents (84) did not show evidence of allocating National Dementia Strategy for England funding this year or last year.
The PCTs which did say they had allocated funding were more likely to have a joint strategy in place. However there were no strong regional relationships or relationships between size of PCT.