MPs have slammed the NHS for failing to prioritise dementia services, leaving thousands of sufferers without adequate care.
A Commons’ public accounts committee report said yesterday that many people did not receive a formal diagnosis and public and professionals believed that “little could be done” to help people.
“The Department [of Health] has not given dementia the same priority status as cancer and coronary heart disease. As a result the NHS has not afforded dementia the same focus for improvement,” the report Improving Services and Support for People with Dementia said.
The committee’s inquiry, based on evidence from the Department of Health and the NHS, found that carers of dementia sufferers bore a “heavy burden,” saving the taxpayer millions of pounds.
It also found that a lack of dementia beds and trained staff led to poor management of medication and inadequate care.
The report cited figures showing that the number of people with dementia was set to increase by over 30% over the next 15 years. There are currently about 560,000 with the condition in England.
The committee called for a forthcoming national dementic strategy currently being developed by the government to have a “clear timetable” for implementation and to include measures to address underperforming services.
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